Attitudes to shared care for patients with dementia: A survey of general practitioners

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Early diagnosis of dementia is important, but implications for care shared between primary and secondary care remain uncertain. We explored attitudes and expectations of Edinburgh’s general practitioners (GPs) regarding current sharing of care for dementia.Surveys were distributed to all 335 Edinburgh GPs; 79.7% were returned. Attitudes and expectations were examined, specifically whether dementia care was currently appropriately shared. Two-thirds of GPs were sure of their role and a similar number felt that care was appropriately shared. The latter opinion was not associated with individual GP factors, such as gender or length of time since qualification, or local levels of deprivation. However, there was a significant association with sector consultant psychiatrist (F = 2.79, df = 6, p = 0.012) and with the proportion of the practice list diagnosed with dementia (ρ = -0.13, p = 0.038).The endangered relationship between GP and specialist could be a key target to improve shared care and early diagnosis of dementia.

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