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Use of services by community-dwelling patients with dementia: a systematic review.

Weber SR, Pirraglia PA, Kunik ME. Use of services by community-dwelling patients with dementia: a systematic review. American journal of Alzheimer's disease and other dementias. 2011 May 1; 26(3):195-204.

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Dementia is a complicated disease requiring medical, psychological, and social services. Services to address these needs include medical care (outpatient physician/specialist, inpatient, emergency) and community care (home health, day care, meal preparation, transportation, counseling, support groups, respite care, physical therapy). This systematic review of articles published in English from 1991 to the present examines studies of ambulatory, community-dwelling dementia patients with established dementia diagnoses. Searches of the Medline database using 13 combinations of search terms, plus searches of Embase and PsycINFO databases using 3 combinations of terms and examination of reference lists of related articles, resulted in identification of 15 studies dealing with healthcare utilization among community-dwelling dementia patients in both medical and community care settings. Patients with dementia frequently use the full spectrum of medical services. Community resources are used less frequently. Community healthcare services may be a valuable resource in alleviating some burden of dementia care for physicians.

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