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Primary and Secondary Care Consultations in Elderly Demented Individuals in France
Results from the Three-City StudyHelmer C.a, b · Pérès K.a, b · Pariente A.b, c, d · Pasquier F.e · Auriacombe S.a, b, d · Poncet M.f · Portet F.g · Rouaud O.i · Ritchie K.h · Tzourio C.j, k · Dartigues J.-F.a, b, d
aINSERM, U897, bUniversité Victor-Segalen Bordeaux-2, cINSERM, U657, and dCHU de Bordeaux, Bordeaux, eDepartment of Neurology, EA 2691, CHU de Lille, Lille, fCHU de Marseille, Marseille, gCHU de Montpellier and hINSERM, U888, Montpellier, iDepartment of Neurology, CMRR, CHU de Dijon, Dijon, and jINSERM, U708, and kUniversité Paris-6, Paris, France
Background/Aims: Our purpose was to analyze consultations with primary- and secondary-care physicians by demented people and identify factors that hamper or facilitate consultation. Methods: In total, 498 demented subjects were evaluated within the Three-City Study, a population-based cohort of individuals aged ≧65 years.Primary- and secondary-care consultations (consultation with a specialist and/or treatment with anti-dementia drugs) were assessed by a neurologist or geriatrician. Results: Thirty-five percent of the demented subjects did not seek advice for their cognitive problems and only 31% consulted a specialist. Consultation for primary care was principally dependent on the subjects’ own awareness of the cognitive disorder and on their age. Factors associated with consultation for secondary care were younger age, higher education level, higher instrumental activities of daily living disability and awareness of the cognitive disorder by the subject, all of which predicted more frequent consultation. The level of cognitive performance had only a slight influence on primary care and none on secondary care. Conclusion: The failure to see a physician due to dementia, especially secondary-care practitioners, is frequent in the community, particularly in the oldest subjects.
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