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Examination of level of knowledge in Italian general practitioners attending an education session on diagnosis and management of the early stage of Alzheimer's disease: pass or fail?

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  28 January 2016

Federica Veneziani
Affiliation:
Neurodegenerative Diseases Unit, Department of Basic Medical Sciences, Neuroscience and Sense Organs, University of Bari “Aldo Moro”, Bari, Italy Department of Clinical Research in Neurology, University of Bari Aldo Moro, “Pia Fondazione Cardinale G. Panico”, Tricase, Lecce, Italy
Francesco Panza*
Affiliation:
Neurodegenerative Diseases Unit, Department of Basic Medical Sciences, Neuroscience and Sense Organs, University of Bari “Aldo Moro”, Bari, Italy Department of Clinical Research in Neurology, University of Bari Aldo Moro, “Pia Fondazione Cardinale G. Panico”, Tricase, Lecce, Italy Geriatric Unit & Laboratory of Gerontology and Geriatrics, Department of Medical Sciences, IRCCS “Casa Sollievo della Sofferenza”, San Giovanni Rotondo, Foggia, Italy
Vincenzo Solfrizzi
Affiliation:
Geriatric Medicine-Memory Unit, Rare Disease Centre, Department of Interdisciplinary Medicine, University of Bari “Aldo Moro”, Bari, Italy
Rosa Capozzo
Affiliation:
Neurodegenerative Diseases Unit, Department of Basic Medical Sciences, Neuroscience and Sense Organs, University of Bari “Aldo Moro”, Bari, Italy Department of Clinical Research in Neurology, University of Bari Aldo Moro, “Pia Fondazione Cardinale G. Panico”, Tricase, Lecce, Italy
Maria Rosaria Barulli
Affiliation:
Neurodegenerative Diseases Unit, Department of Basic Medical Sciences, Neuroscience and Sense Organs, University of Bari “Aldo Moro”, Bari, Italy Department of Clinical Research in Neurology, University of Bari Aldo Moro, “Pia Fondazione Cardinale G. Panico”, Tricase, Lecce, Italy
Antonio Leo
Affiliation:
Neurodegenerative Diseases Unit, Department of Basic Medical Sciences, Neuroscience and Sense Organs, University of Bari “Aldo Moro”, Bari, Italy
Madia Lozupone
Affiliation:
Neurodegenerative Diseases Unit, Department of Basic Medical Sciences, Neuroscience and Sense Organs, University of Bari “Aldo Moro”, Bari, Italy
Andrea Fontana
Affiliation:
Unit of Biostatistics, IRCCS Casa Sollievo della Sofferenza, San Giovanni Rotondo, Foggia, Italy
Simona Arcuti
Affiliation:
Neurodegenerative Diseases Unit, Department of Basic Medical Sciences, Neuroscience and Sense Organs, University of Bari “Aldo Moro”, Bari, Italy Department of Clinical Research in Neurology, University of Bari Aldo Moro, “Pia Fondazione Cardinale G. Panico”, Tricase, Lecce, Italy
Massimiliano Copetti
Affiliation:
Unit of Biostatistics, IRCCS Casa Sollievo della Sofferenza, San Giovanni Rotondo, Foggia, Italy
Valentina Cardinali
Affiliation:
Neurodegenerative Diseases Unit, Department of Basic Medical Sciences, Neuroscience and Sense Organs, University of Bari “Aldo Moro”, Bari, Italy
Alessandra Grasso
Affiliation:
Neurodegenerative Diseases Unit, Department of Basic Medical Sciences, Neuroscience and Sense Organs, University of Bari “Aldo Moro”, Bari, Italy
Marianna Tursi
Affiliation:
Neurodegenerative Diseases Unit, Department of Basic Medical Sciences, Neuroscience and Sense Organs, University of Bari “Aldo Moro”, Bari, Italy
Annalisa Iurillo
Affiliation:
Neurodegenerative Diseases Unit, Department of Basic Medical Sciences, Neuroscience and Sense Organs, University of Bari “Aldo Moro”, Bari, Italy
Bruno Pietro Imbimbo
Affiliation:
Research and Development, Chiesi Farmaceutici, Parma, Italy
Davide Seripa
Affiliation:
Geriatric Unit & Laboratory of Gerontology and Geriatrics, Department of Medical Sciences, IRCCS “Casa Sollievo della Sofferenza”, San Giovanni Rotondo, Foggia, Italy
Giancarlo Logroscino
Affiliation:
Neurodegenerative Diseases Unit, Department of Basic Medical Sciences, Neuroscience and Sense Organs, University of Bari “Aldo Moro”, Bari, Italy Department of Clinical Research in Neurology, University of Bari Aldo Moro, “Pia Fondazione Cardinale G. Panico”, Tricase, Lecce, Italy
*Corresponding
Correspondence should be addressed to: Francesco Panza, MD, PhD, Neurodegenerative Diseases Unit, Department of Basic Medical Sciences, Neurosciences and Sense Organs, University of Bari “Aldo Moro”, Bari, Italy and Department of Clinical Research in Neurology, University of Bari Aldo Moro, “Pia Fondazione Cardinale G. Panico”, Tricase, Lecce, Italy and Geriatric Unit & Laboratory of Gerontology and Geriatrics, Department of Medical Sciences, IRCCS “Casa Sollievo della Sofferenza”, San Giovanni Rotondo, Foggia, Italy. Phone: +39 0807835692. Email: geriat.dot@geriatria.uniba.it.

Abstract

Background:

We detected the general level of knowledge about the early diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease (AD) and subsequent care in general practitioners (GPs) from Southern Italy. We explored also the GP perception about their knowledge and training on diagnosis and management of AD.

Methods:

On a sample of 131 GPs, we administered two questionnaires: the GP-Knowledge, evaluating GPs’ expertise about AD epidemiology, differential diagnosis, and available treatments, and the GP-QUestionnaire on Awareness of Dementia (GP-QUAD), assessing the GPs’ attitudes, awareness, and practice regarding early diagnosis of dementia.

Results:

Specific screening tests or protocols to diagnose and manage dementia were not used by 53% of our GPs. The training on the recognition of early AD signs and symptoms was considered inadequate by 55% of the participants. Females were more likely to consider their training insufficient (58%) compared to males (53%). Female GPs were less likely to prescribe antipsychotic drugs to control neuropsychiatric symptoms (NPS) and suggest specialist advice in late stage of cognitive impairment. Multiple Correspondence Analysis (MCA) performed only on GP-QUAD suggested two dimensions explaining 26.1% (“GP attitude”) and 20.1% (“GP knowledge”) of the inertia for a total of 46.2%,

Conclusion:

In our survey on GP clinical practice, several problems in properly recognizing early AD symptoms and subsequently screening patients to be referred to secondary/tertiary care centers for diagnosis confirmation have emerged. In the future, specific training programs and educational projects for GPs should be implemented also in Italy to improve detection rates and management of dementia in primary care.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © International Psychogeriatric Association 2016 

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