Irish Journal of Medical Science

The use of neuroimaging in dementia by Irish general practitioners.

Ciblis, A.S., Butler, M.L., Bokde, A.L.W., Mullins, P.G. and McNulty, J.P.
Irish Journal of Medical Science
This paper set out to investigate GP access to neuroimaging, referral patterns, GP confidence around referral and opinions on radiology reports. A postal survey was issued to Irish GP’s in rural, semi-rural and urban areas and 302 questionnaires were returned.
Most respondents rated diagnosis within their HSE region as excellent; two thirds of respondents in Dublin and Cork but 80% of respondents in Kildare and 100% in Monaghan rated this as poor. Almost half of respondents referred patients with suspected dementia for neuroimaging but one third did not have access to a MRI scan. Acess was found to be considerably easier for private patients than public patients. Most GPs did not follow clinical guidelines and were unaware of dementia specific guidelines. Of those who made referrals, most found radiology reports useful and were confident of their ability to understand the report. Ciblis et al. (2016) conclude that clear referral protocols are required with appropriate training for GPs and that access to neuroimaging should improve so that it is available to every patient regardless of location and of whether the GP practice is public or private.

Caring for dementia carers: the role of general practitioners in Ireland.

Irish Journal of Medical Science

O’Connor (2011) reviewed the literature on the role of GPs in ROI in caring for carers.

 The paper provides a general report on the carer profile in ROI, the impacts on their health and wellbeing, and the value of psychosocial interventions, occupational therapy, respite care and support groups.  The author suggests that carers are generally not satisfied with the support from their GPs and that as the first point of contact in ROI, GPs should be aware and watch out for adverse health outcomes on carers of people with dementia.

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