Diagnosis of dementia in residential aged care settings in Australia: an opportunity for improvements in quality of care?

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Abstract

Objective: To examine the cognitive status of Australians living in residential aged care facilities (RACFs) and whether or not a dementia diagnosis was recorded. 

Methods: Cross-sectional study of 541 residents of 17 RACFs spanning four states. Examination of cognitive status by Psychogeriatric Assessment Scale Cognitive Impairment Scale (PAS-Cog) and dementia diagnosis from medical records. 

Results: The study population included 65% of residents with a diagnosis of dementia recorded, and 83% had a PAS-Cog score of four or more indicating likely cognitive impairment. More than 20% of participants had likely cognitive impairment (PAS-Cog ≥4), but no diagnosis of dementia; 11% had moderate-to-severe cognitive impairment (PAS-Cog ≥10) but no recorded dementia diagnosis. 

Conclusion: There may be a lack of formal diagnosis of dementia in Australian RACFs. Greater efforts from all health professionals to improve diagnosis in this setting are required. This is an opportunity for improved person-centred care and quality of care in this vulnerable population.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)E155-E158
Number of pages4
JournalAustralasian Journal on Ageing
Volume37
Issue number4
Early online date6 Sept 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2018

Keywords

  • cognitive dysfunction
  • dementia
  • diagnosis
  • Quality of health care
  • residential facilities
  • quality of health care

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