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Multiple transitions across care settings can be disruptive for older adults with dementia and their care partners, and can lead to fragmented care with adverse outcomes. This scoping review was conducted to identify and classify care trajectories across multiple settings for people with dementia, and to understand the prevalence of multiple transitions and associated factors at the individual and organizational levels. Searches of three databases, limited to peer-reviewed studies published between 2007 and 2017, provided 33 articles for inclusion. We identified 26 distinct care trajectories. Common trajectories involved hospital readmission or discharge from hospital to long-term care. Factors associated with transitions were identified mainly at the level of demographic and medical characteristics. Findings suggest a need for investing in stronger community-based systems of care that may reduce transitions. Further research is recommended to address knowledge gaps about complex and longitudinal care trajectories and trajectories experienced by sub-populations of people living with dementia.
Low back pain is a major cause of disability in older adults, and results in many emergency department visits each year. Characteristics of the older back pain population are largely unknown. We conducted a retrospective study to examine the prevalence and patient characteristics for older (≥ 65 years of age) and younger (16–64 years of age) adults presenting with back pain. Study objectives were to describe the characteristics of older adults with back pain presenting to an emergency department and to identify age-group-based differences in management. Older adults were most commonly diagnosed with non-specific low back pain (49%). For older adults with this diagnosis, the length of stay was 2.1 times longer (p < 0.001), and odds of being admitted to the hospital were 5.1 times higher (p < 0.001) than for younger adults. Patterns of management are different for younger and older adults with low back pain; this information can be used to direct future resource planning.
Increasing concern around perceived neurocognitive decline is increasing the number of referrals to specialists and anxiety for patients. We aimed to explore the likelihood of the “worried well” experiencing neurocognitive decline and developing a neurological diagnosis.
A total of 166 “worried well” patients who attended the Rural and Remote Memory Clinic (RRMC) between 2004 and 2019 were included in this study. Demographic, health, social, and behavioral factors were measured at the initial visit. Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE), Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale (CESD), and Functional Activities Questionnaire (FAQ) scores were measured and compared at initial assessment and at 1-year follow-up. MMSE scores over time were assessed with a mean follow-up of 2.95 years (SD 2.87).
No statistically significant difference was seen in MMSE, CESD, or FAQ scores when comparing clinic day to 1-year follow-up, and no consistent pattern of MMSE score over time was seen. Of the 166 patients with subjective cognitive impairment (SCI) on initial assessment, 5 were diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease (AD) at 8.5, 3.5, 5, 3, and 1.75 years; 2 were diagnosed with MCI at 1 and 2 years; 1 was diagnosed with vascular cognitive impairment at 5 years; and 1 was diagnosed with frontotemporal dementia (FTD) at 0.5 years.
The likelihood of a patient with SCI developing a neurological diagnosis is reassuringly low (9/166), but not irrelevant. This, along with the benefits of early diagnosis and treatment for dementia, leads us to believe that patients with SCI should still be seen in follow-up at least at the 1-year mark.
Canada, like other countries around the world, has an ageing population and growing numbers of people with dementia. Although rural Canada makes up 95 per cent of the country's land mass (Moazzami, 2014), Canada is becoming increasingly urbanised as cities grow and the proportion of people living in rural areas has declined and aged (Statistics Canada, 2017a). These changes have socioeconomic impacts on rural communities, including ability to deliver health and social services for ageing rural populations. The challenges of ageing in rural communities, such as disparities in access to services (Keating et al, 2011) are compounded when living with dementia. This chapter reviews the Canadian dementia care context, issues and challenges in rural dementia care, and Canadian research addressing these issues. The chapter provides an overview of the Rural Dementia Action Research (RaDAR) programme based in Saskatchewan, Canada, which has focused on rural dementia care for over 20 years.
Dementia in Canada
The number of people over age 65 in Canada is projected to increase from 17 per cent in 2017 to 23 per cent by 2031 (Statistics Canada, 2017a). The number of people with dementia is also projected to increase, from 564,000 in 2016 to around one million by 2033 (ASC, 2016). A number of Canadian initiatives have been implemented to address growing dementia care needs. Most of the ten provinces in Canada have established dementia strategies, some as early as 2002, and a national dementia strategy was released in 2019 (Public Health Agency of Canada). A 2016 report by the Senate of Canada included 29 recommendations to inform development of the national strategy (Senate of Canada, 2016). The Alzheimer Society of Canada has published several studies of projected prevalence and monetary costs using different data sources and intervention scenarios (ASC, 2010, 2016). The Canadian Institutes of Health Research Dementia Research Strategy included C$32 million in federal funding over five years for Phase I of the Canadian Consortium on Neurodegeneration in Aging (CCNA) and C$46 million for Phase 2 (2019– 24). This network of 20 research teams involves over 350 researchers conducting research in dementia prevention, treatment and quality of life (CCNA, 2019). The Canadian Chronic Disease Surveillance System was expanded to include dementia in 2011, creating national data on dementia incidence and prevalence to support planning and evaluation of policies and services (Public Health Agency of Canada, 2017; CIHI, 2018).
Young-onset dementia (YOD) is defined as the onset of dementia symptoms before the age of 65 years and accounts for 2–8% of dementia. YOD patients and their caregivers face unique challenges in diagnosis and management. We aimed to compare the characteristics of rural YOD and late-onset dementia (LOD) patients at a rural and remote memory clinic in Western Canada.
A total of 333 consecutive patients (YOD = 61, LOD = 272) at a rural and remote memory clinic between March 2004 and July 2016 were included in this study. Each patient had neuropsychological assessment. Health, mood, function, behaviour and social factors were also measured. Both groups were compared using χ2 tests and independent sample tests.
YOD patients were more likely to be married, employed, current smokers and highly educated. They reported fewer cognitive symptoms, but had more depressive symptoms. YOD patients were less likely to live alone and use homecare services. YOD caregivers were also more likely to be a spouse and had higher levels of distress than LOD caregivers. Both YOD and LOD patient groups were equally likely to have a driver’s licence.
Our findings indicate YOD and LOD patients have distinct characteristics and services must be modified to better meet YOD patient needs. In particular, the use of homecare services and caregiver support may alleviate the higher levels of distress found in YOD patients and their caregivers. Additional research should be directed to addressing YOD patient depression, caregiver distress and barriers to services.
Antipseudomonal carbapenems are an important target for antimicrobial stewardship programs. We evaluated the impact of formulary restriction and preauthorization on relative carbapenem use for medical and surgical intensive care units at a large, urban academic medical center using interrupted time-series analysis.
This study is aimed at developing a Rural Primary Health Care (PHC) Model for delivering comprehensive PHC for dementia in rural settings and addressing the gap in knowledge about disseminating and implementing evidence-based dementia care in a rural PHC context.
Limited access to specialists and services in rural areas leads to increased responsibility for dementia diagnosis and management in PHC, yet a gap exists in evidence-based best practices for rural dementia care.
Elements of the Rural PHC Model for Dementia were based on seven principles of effective PHC for dementia identified from published research and organized into three domains: team-based care, decision support, and specialist-to-provider support. Since 2013 the researchers have collaborated with a rural PHC team in a community of 1000 people in the Canadian province of Saskatchewan to operationalize these elements in ways that were feasible in the local context. The five-step approach included: building relationships; conducting a problem analysis/needs assessment; identifying core and adaptable elements of a decision support tool embedded in the model and resolving applicability issues; implementing and adapting the intervention with local stakeholders; and sustaining the model while incrementally scaling up.
Developing and sustaining relationships at regional and PHC team levels was critical. A comprehensive needs assessment identified challenges related to all domains of the Rural PHC Model. An existing decision support tool for dementia diagnosis and management was adapted and embedded in the team’s electronic medical record. Strategies for operationalizing other model elements included integrating team-based care co-ordination into the decision support tool and family-centered case conferences. Research team specialists provided educational sessions on topics identified by the PHC team. This paper provides an example of a community-based process for adapting evidence-based practice principles to a real-world setting.
Background: A Will, Power of Attorney, and Advanced Healthcare Directive are critical to guide decision-making in patients with dementia. We identified characteristics that are associated with the existence of these documents in patients who presented to a rural and remote memory clinic (RRMC). Methods: Ninety-five consecutive patients were included in this study. Patients and caregivers completed questionnaires on initial presentation to the RRMC and patients were asked if they had legal documents. Patients also completed neuropsychological testing. Statistical analysis (t-test and χ2 test) was performed to identify significant variables. Results: Seventy (73.7%) patients had a Will, 62 (65.3%) had a Power of Attorney, and 21 (22.1%) had an Advanced Healthcare Directive. Having a Will was associated with good quality of life (p = 0.001), living alone or with a spouse or partner only (p = 0.034), poor verbal fluency (p = 0.055), and European ethnicity (p = 0.028). Factors associated with having a Power of Attorney included good quality of life (p = 0.031), living alone or with a spouse or partner only (p = 0.053), and poor verbal fluency (p = 0.015). Old age (p = 0.015), poor verbal fluency (p = 0.023), and greater severity of cognitive and functional impairment (p = 0.023) were associated with having an Advanced Healthcare Directive. Conclusions: Our results indicate that poor quality of life, good performance on verbal fluency, Indigenous ethnicity, and living with others are associated with a lower likelihood of legal documents in patients with dementia. These factors can help physicians identify patients at risk of leaving their legal affairs unattended to. Physicians should discuss the creation of legal documents early on in patients with signs of dementia.
Introduction: In an effort to better understand why cognitively normal patients were referred to a memory clinic, we sought to identify features of “worried well” patients to better identify those more likely to be cognitively normal. Methods: In total, 375 consecutive patients referred by primary care practitioners to a Rural and Remote Memory Clinic were categorized into two groups based on their neurologic diagnosis, “worried well” (cognitively normal, N=81) or “other” (patients with any neurologic diagnosis, N=294). Data collected included: age, sex, years of formal education, Mini-Mental Status Examination score from initial visit, Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale score, Self-Rating of Memory Scale, alcohol consumption, marital status, hours per week of work, past medical history, sleep concerns, and family history of memory concerns. The two groups were compared using t-tests and χ2 tests. The same comparison was done between the same set of “worried well” patients (cognitively normal, N=81) and the subgroup of patients with a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease (N=146) from the “other” group. Results: Significant differences included younger age, more formal education, more frequently having previous psychiatric diagnosis and more self-reported alcohol consumption in the “worried well” group. The “worried well” and “Alzheimer’s disease” comparison had the same significant differences as the “worried well” and “other” comparison. Conclusion: We observed a pattern of differences unfold between the “worried well” patients and those with cognitive disease. No one variable was pathognomonic of a “worried well” patient. However, taking all the above into account when evaluating a patient may help clinically.
Although procedural sedation for cardioversion is a common event in emergency departments (EDs), there is limited evidence surrounding medication choices. We sought to evaluate geographic and temporal variation in sedative choice at multiple Canadian sites, and to estimate the risk of adverse events due to sedative choice.
This is a secondary analysis of one health records review, the Recent Onset Atrial Fibrillation or Flutter-0 (RAFF-0 [n=420, 2008]) and one prospective cohort study, the Recent Onset Atrial Fibrillation or Flutter-1 (RAFF-1 [n=565, 2010 – 2012]) at eight and six Canadian EDs, respectively. Sedative choices within and among EDs were quantified, and the risk of adverse events was examined with adjusted and unadjusted comparisons of sedative regimes.
In RAFF-0 and RAFF-1, the combination of propofol and fentanyl was most popular (63.8% and 52.7%) followed by propofol alone (27.9% and 37.3%). There were substantially more adverse events in the RAFF-0 data set (13.5%) versus RAFF-1 (3.3%). In both data sets, the combination of propofol/fentanyl was not associated with increased adverse event risk compared to propofol alone.
There is marked variability in procedural sedation medication choice for a direct current cardioversion in Canadian EDs, with increased use of propofol alone as a sedation agent over time. The risk of adverse events from procedural sedation during cardioversion is low but not insignificant. We did not identify an increased risk of adverse events with the addition of fentanyl as an adjunctive analgesic to propofol.
This study aimed to (a) examine eHealth literacy, beliefs, and behaviours in parents of children with complex CHD, and (b) identify parents’ preferences for the content, format, features, and functions of eHealth resources for CHD.
Materials and methods
Families (n=198) of children born between 2008 and 2011 and diagnosed with CHD requiring surgery were mailed a survey assessing a range of variables including eHealth literacy, beliefs, and behaviours as well as preferences for the format, functions, features, and content of eHealth resources for CHD.
A total of 132 parents (83 mothers, 49 fathers) completed the survey (response rate: 50%). Mothers (96%) were more likely to access eHealth resources than fathers (83%, χ2=6.74, p=0.009). Despite high eHealth resource use, eHealth literacy was relatively low, with results demonstrating considerable and widespread gaps in awareness of, access to, and communication about eHealth resources. Over 50% of parents reported that decisions regarding their child’s healthcare were influenced, to some extent, by web-based resources. Barriers to doctor–patient communication about eHealth included limited consultation time and concern about doctors’ disapproval. Participants demonstrated a strong desire for “eHealth prescriptions” from their child’s healthcare team, and perceived a wide range of eHealth topics as highly important, including treatment-related complications as well as physical, cognitive, and emotional development in children with CHD.
Results suggest a need for stronger, more proactive partnerships between clinicians, researchers, educators, technologists, and patients and families to bring about meaningful innovations in the development and implementation of eHealth interventions in paediatric cardiology.
Background: Anticholinergic and sedating medications are generally contraindicated in those with cognitive decline. We examined trends in medication use by patients at initial presentation to a rural and remote memory clinic (RRMC) between March 2004 and June 2015 to determine whether patterns of medication use have changed. Methods: The first 444 patients seen at the RRMC between 2004 and 2015 were included in this analysis. Medication lists were collected at the patient’s initial visit, and it was noted whether patients were taking anticholinergic or potentially sedating drugs. Statistical analysis (Spearman’s correlation) was conducted to examine trends in medication use over time. Results: Patients were on a mean of 5.18 medications (standard deviation, 3.46). Ninety-one patients (20.5%) were taking at least one anticholinergic medication. There was a decline (25.0% in 2004 to 12.5% in 2014) in percentage of patients presenting with anticholinergic medications over the 11 years of this study (Spearman’s correlation coefficient =−0.64, p=0.035). The prevalence of drugs acting on the central nervous system trended toward an increase, but this was not statistically significant. Sixty-three patients (14.2%) presented to the RRMC already taking a cholinesterase inhibitor. Conclusions: The most encouraging statistic to come from this study is a decline in anticholinergic medication use in this rural population. Prescribers must be properly informed to ensure that the number of medications per patient does not continue to rise, that medications are used only as necessary, and that potentially deleterious medications are avoided.
Original studies published over the last decade regarding time trends in dementia report mixed results. The aims of the present study were to use linked administrative health data for the province of Saskatchewan for the period 2005/2006 to 2012/2013 to: (1) examine simultaneous temporal trends in annual age- and sex-specific dementia incidence and prevalence among individuals aged 45 and older, and (2) stratify the changes in incidence over time by database of identification.
Using a population-based retrospective cohort study design, data were extracted from seven provincial administrative health databases linked by a unique anonymized identification number. Individuals 45 years and older at first identification of dementia between April 1, 2005 and March 31, 2013 were included, based on case definition criteria met within any one of four administrative health databases (hospital, physician, prescription drug, and long-term care).
Between 2005/2006 and 2012/2013, the 12-month age-standardized incidence rate of dementia declined significantly by 11.07% and the 12-month age-standardized prevalence increased significantly by 30.54%. The number of incident cases decreased from 3,389 to 3,270 and the number of prevalent cases increased from 8,795 to 13,012. Incidence rate reductions were observed in every database of identification.
We observed a simultaneous trend of decreasing incidence and increasing prevalence of dementia over a relatively short 8-year time period from 2005/2006 to 2012/2013. These trends indicate that the average survival time of dementia is lengthening. Continued observation of these time trends is warranted given the short study period.
Population-based prevalence and incidence studies are essential for understanding the burden of frontotemporal dementia (FTD).
The MEDLINE and EMBASE databases were searched to identify population-based publications from 1985 to 2012, addressing the incidence and/or prevalence of FTD. References of included articles and prior systematic reviews were searched for additional studies. Two reviewers screened all abstracts and full-text reviews, abstracted data and performed quality assessments.
Twenty-six studies were included. Methodological limitations led to wide ranges in the estimates for prevalence (point prevalence 0.01-4.6 per 1000 persons; period prevalence 0.16-31.04 per 1000 persons) and incidence (0.0-0.3 per 1000 person-years). FTD accounted for an average of 2.7% (range 0-9.1%) of all dementia cases among prevalence studies that included subjects 65 and older compared to 10.2% (range 2.8-15.7%) in studies restricted to those aged less than 65. The cumulative numbers of male (373 [52.5%]) and female (338 [47.5%]) cases from studies reporting this information were nearly equal (p=0.18). The behavioural variant FTD (bvFTD) was almost four times as common as the primary progressive aphasias.
Population-based estimates for the epidemiology of FTD varied widely in the included studies. Refinements in the diagnostic process, possibly by the use of validated biomarkers or limiting case ascertainment to specialty services, are needed to obtain more precise estimates of the prevalence and incidence of FTD.
Updated information on the epidemiology of dementia due to Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is needed to ensure that adequate resources are available to meet current and future healthcare needs. We conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis of the incidence and prevalence of AD.
The MEDLINE and EMBASE databases were searched from 1985 to 2012, as well as the reference lists of selected articles. Included articles had to provide an original population-based estimate for the incidence and/or prevalence of AD. Two individuals independently performed abstract and full-text reviews, data extraction and quality assessments. Random-effects models were employed to generate pooled estimates stratified by age, sex, diagnostic criteria, location (i.e., continent) and time (i.e., when the study was done).
Of 16,066 abstracts screened, 707 articles were selected for full-text review. A total of 119 studies met the inclusion criteria. In community settings, the overall point prevalence of dementia due to AD among individuals 60+ was 40.2 per 1000 persons (CI95%: 29.1-55.6), and pooled annual period prevalence was 30.4 per 1000 persons (CI95%: 15.6-59.1). In community settings, the overall pooled annual incidence proportion of dementia due to AD among individuals 60+ was 34.1 per 1000 persons (CI95%: 16.4-70.9), and the incidence rate was 15.8 per 1000 person-years (CI95%: 12.9-19.4). Estimates varied significantly with age, diagnostic criteria used and location (i.e., continent).
The burden of AD dementia is substantial. Significant gaps in our understanding of its epidemiology were identified, even in a high-income country such as Canada. Future studies should assess the impact of using such newer clinical diagnostic criteria for AD dementia such as those of the National Institute on Aging–Alzheimer’s Association and/or incorporate validated biomarkers to confirm the presence of Alzheimer pathology to produce more precise estimates of the global burden of AD.
Dementia is a common neurological condition affecting many older individuals that leads to a loss of independence, diminished quality of life, premature mortality, caregiver burden and high levels of healthcare utilization and cost. This is an updated systematic review and meta-analysis of the worldwide prevalence and incidence of dementia.
The MEDLINE and EMBASE databases were searched for relevant studies published between 2000 (1985 for Canadian papers) and July of 2012. Papers selected for full-text review were included in the systematic review if they provided an original population-based estimate for the incidence and/or prevalence of dementia. The reference lists of included articles were also searched for additional studies. Two individuals independently performed abstract and full-text review, data extraction, and quality assessment of the papers. Random-effects models and/or meta-regression were used to generate pooled estimates by age, sex, setting (i.e., community, institution, both), diagnostic criteria utilized, location (i.e., continent) and year of data collection.
Of 16,066 abstracts screened, 707 articles were selected for full-text review. A total of 160 studies met the inclusion criteria. Among individuals 60 and over residing in the community, the pooled point and annual period prevalence estimates of dementia were 48.62 (CI95%: 41.98-56.32) and 69.07 (CI95%: 52.36-91.11) per 1000 persons, respectively. The respective pooled incidence rate (same age and setting) was 17.18 (CI95%: 13.90-21.23) per 1000 person-years, while the annual incidence proportion was 52.85 (CI95%: 33.08-84.42) per 1,000 persons. Increasing participant age was associated with a higher dementia prevalence and incidence. Annual period prevalence was higher in North America than in South America, Europe and Asia (in order of decreasing period prevalence) and higher in institutional compared to community and combined settings. Sex, diagnostic criteria (except for incidence proportion) and year of data collection were not associated with statistically significant different estimates of prevalence or incidence, though estimates were consistently higher for females than males.
Dementia is a common neurological condition in older individuals. Significant gaps in knowledge about its epidemiology were identified, particularly with regard to the incidence of dementia in low- and middle-income countries. Accurate estimates of prevalence and incidence of dementia are needed to plan for the health and social services that will be required to deal with an aging population.
This is a study of the growth and decline of cities for the purpose of identifying those events in which they significantly increased in size. Significant changes in the scale of cities are important for understanding the long-term trend toward more complex and hierarchical human societies. We report the results of an inventory of cycles, upsweeps, and collapses of settlements in five separate interpolity systems. Upsweeps are instances in which the largest settlement in a world system significantly increases in size. Collapses occur when the size of the largest settlement greatly decreases and stays down for a significant period of time rather than rebounding. We use regional interpolity systems (world systems) rather than single polities or settlements as our unit of analysis. Because the accurate designation of sweeps requires interval scale measures, we are limited to those regions and time periods for which quantitative estimates of largest settlement sizes are regularly available. We find a total of 18 upsweeps and five downsweeps, and only two instances of prolonged systemwide settlement collapse. We also investigate whether or not the rate of cycles has increased over the long run, and we find that cycles of city growth and decline have not accelerated. We also find a greater rate of urban cycles in the Western (Central) System than in the East Asian System, which supports the usual notion that the Western city system was less stable than the Eastern city system.