Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Dementia Patients Need Urgent Support After Diagnosis

How do people with dementia and their carers respond to being diagnosed with the condition?  What are their experiences and feelings around dementia diagnosis?  Are there any barriers to being diagnosed?

Many of us know someone who has dementia – perhaps a family member or a friend.  It mainly affects older people, affecting one in twenty people over the age of sixty-five and one in five over the age of eighty. And with aging populations around the world, the number of people with dementia is increasing – worldwide there are estimated to be over thirty-five million people with dementia and this number is set to rise to well over 115 million by 2050 according to Alzheimer’s Disease International.

In a paper just published in PLoS Medicine, researchers led by Dr Frances Bunn from the University’s Centre for Research in Primary and Community Care (CRIPACC), have found that there is an urgent need for support from outside the family both immediately after diagnosis of dementia and also on an on-going basis.

They found that the needs of people with dementia and their carers are complex and varied which makes diagnosing and supporting them very challenging. The research showed that support needs to be on-going, flexible and sensitive to their needs – so any future research must focus on the development and evaluation of ways to best meet those needs.

The paper “Psychosocial Factors That Shape Patient and Carer Experiences of Dementia Diagnosis and Treatment: A Systematic Review of Qualitative Studies” is now available.

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