The Changing Profile of Patients in a Geriatric Medicine Led Memory Clinic Over 12 Years
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Memory clinics play an important role in enabling early dementia diagnosis and intervention. Few studies have investigated the changing patient profiles at memory clinics over time. We studied the trend of patient characteristics in a geriatric medicine-led memory clinic over 12 years to improve services and care to meet their needs.
Setting and Participants
Data from 2340 first-visit patients seen at a memory clinic from 2005–2017 were extracted from a registered database and analysed.
ANOVA, Pearson chi-square and non-parametric tests were used to describe and compare between patients with dementia (PWD) and patients with no dementia (PND).
Data included diagnoses of dementia and mild cognitive impairment, age, education, MMSE scores and comorbidities.
Patients averaged 77.2 ± 8.3 years of age with mean MMSE score of 16.2 ± 6.7. Those diagnosed with dementia were older (78.3 ± 7.9 years) and almost half (48.4%) had moderate or moderately severe dementia (FAST 5-6). Over time, there was a growing proportion of patients with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and mild Alzheimer’s dementia. Many PWD had co-morbidities of hypertension (65.9%), hyperlipidemia (55.1%), diabetes (33.5%) and 28.4% were frail.
The findings call for services to better diagnose and manage patients at the earlier stages of cognitive impairment and provide holistic interventions for those with frailty and other co-morbidities. The continued rise in number of patients presenting to memory clinics provides impetus to expedite integration of tertiary-based memory clinics with primary and community care providers to better support PWD and their families.
Key wordsDementia cognitive impairment memory clinics trend patient profile integrated care
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