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The prevalence and factors associated with delays in help seeking for people with dementia in China are unknown.
Within 1,010 consecutively registered participants in the Clinical Pathway for Alzheimer's Disease in China (CPAD) study (NCT01779310), 576 persons with dementia (PWDs) and their informants reported the estimated time from symptom onset to first medical visit seeking diagnosis. Univariate analysis of general linear model was used to examine the potential factors associated with the delayed diagnosis seeking.
The median duration from the first noticeable symptom to the first visit seeking diagnosis or treatment was 1.77 years. Individuals with a positive family history of dementia had longer duration (p = 0.05). Compared with other types of dementia, people with vascular dementia (VaD) were referred for diagnosis earliest, and the sequence for such delays was: VaD < Alzheimer's disease (AD) < frontotemporal dementia (FTD) (p < 0.001). Subtypes of dementia (p < 0.001), family history (p = 0.01), and education level (p = 0.03) were associated with the increased delay in help seeking.
In China, seeking diagnosis for PWDs is delayed for approximately 2 years, even in well-established memory clinics. Clinical features, family history, and less education may impede help seeking in dementia care.
Depression among older adults is under-recognized either in the community or in general hospitals in Chinese culture. This study aimed to develop a culturally appropriate screening instrument for late-life depression in the non-psychiatric settings and to test its reliability and validity for a diagnosis of depression.
Using a Delphi method, we developed a geriatric depression inventory (GDI), consisting of 12 core symptoms of depressive disorder in old age. We investigated its reliability and validity on 89 patients with late-life depression and 249 non-depression controls. Both self-report (GDI-SR) and physician-interview (GDI-RI) versions were assessed.
Cronbach's α coefficient was 0.843 for GDI-SR and 0.880 for GDI-RI. Both GDI-SR and GDI-RI showed good concurrent validity with the 15-item Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS-15) (GDI-SR: r = 0.750, p < 0.001; GDI-RI: r = 0.733, p < 0.001). The area under the curve of the receiver operating characteristic (ROC) was 0.938 for GDI-SR and 0.961 for GDI-RI, suggesting good to excellent discrimination of depression versus non-depression. Using a cut-off of three items endorsed, sensitivity and specificity were 92.1% and 81.9% for GDI-SR, and 93.3% and 87.1% for GDI-RI.
The GDI, either based on self-report or rater interview, is a reliable and valid instrument for the detection of depression among older adults in non-psychiatric medical settings in Chinese culture.
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