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Implications of the Facing Dementia Survey for health care professionals across Europe

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Approximately 600 general practitioners, primary care physicians and specialists in six European nations (France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Spain and UK) who treat patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD) were interviewed during the Facing Dementia Survey. Compared with generalists, specialists displayed the most optimism regarding the effects of age, believing that health and memory do not inevitably deteriorate as one grows older. Most physician respondents agreed that the diagnosis of AD is too often delayed. A primary reason cited for this delay was the difficulty experienced by both physicians and the general public in identifying early signs of AD. Many physicians believed treatments are available that can slow the disease course. The vast majority surveyed in each nation believed that early treatment of AD can delay disease progression [mean, 87%; range, 68% (United Kingdom) to 96% (Poland)]. More than half of physicians who initiate treatment in France (66%), Germany (59%), Italy (82%), Poland (82%) and Spain (69%) said they institute treatment for AD immediately after diagnosis. The exception was the United Kingdom, where 48% initiated treatment immediately, whereas more than half waited at least a month to start therapy. To a large extent, physicians saw the governments of their countries as a hindrance rather than a help in caring for persons with AD.

Keywords: Alzheimer's disease; ageing; delayed diagnosis; dementia

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Moorgreen Hospital, Southampton, UK,1 Pfizer Inc., 2: New York, NY, USA,2 Millward Brown North America, 3: Fairfield, CT, USA3

Publication date: March 1, 2005


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