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Knowledge of documented dementia diagnosis and treatment in veterans and their caregivers.

Bradford A, Upchurch C, Bass D, Judge K, Snow AL, Wilson N, Kunik ME. Knowledge of documented dementia diagnosis and treatment in veterans and their caregivers. American journal of Alzheimer's disease and other dementias. 2011 Mar 1; 26(2):127-33.

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We studied perceptions of dementia diagnosis and treatment in patient-caregiver dyads enrolled in a care coordination intervention trial for veterans with dementia. We compared patient and caregiver perceptions of diagnosis and treatment to information in the medical record and assessed concordance between patient and caregiver perceptions. Data were derived from medical record abstraction and structured interviews with 132 patients and 183 caregivers. Most caregivers, but only about one fourth of patients, reported having received information about a diagnosis related to memory loss. Caregivers were more accurate than patients in recalling the patient''s use of memory-enhancing medications. Within dyads there was poor agreement regarding a diagnosis of dementia. Our findings suggest that there is substantial room for improvement in disclosure and education of dementia diagnosis, especially at the level of the patient-caregiver dyad.

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