Behavioural and psychological symptoms of dementia in primary care: a survey of general practitioners in Ireland
Using an anonymous questionnaire issued to GPs in North Dublin, Buhagiar et al. (2011) explored how GPs self-evaluate their confidence and knowledge on the detection and management of behavioural and psychological symptoms of dementia (BPSD). GP confidence in diagnosing and managing BPSD was found to be low; all GPs reported having diagnosed and managed patients presenting with new-onset BPSD during the previous year but they were somewhat critical of their perceived skills in these areas, despite showing a high level of knowledge about management of BPSD. The authors conclude that GP confidence is likely to be compromised by a lack of guidance and support, limited resources and a health service framework that does not necessarily promote support from specialist services. The study argues that GPs need to be better supported by educational programmes on dementia care, and by a structured shared care approach between primary and specialist services, which would potentially lead to better patient and caregiver outcomes.
BUHAGIAR, K., AFZAL, N. and COSGRAVE, M. 2011. Behavioural and psychological symptoms of dementia in primary care: a survey of general practitioners in Ireland. Mental Health in Family Medicine. 8, pp. 227–234