How healthcare providers assess the accuracy of the medical history given by patients with dementia

What question were you seeking to answer?

I was seeking to understand how providers take a medical history from patients with dementia.

Why did you choose this topic?

I chose this topic because dementia is becoming more prevalent globally as populations live longer, and it will be something that affects every healthcare provider in their clinical practice if they take care of older patients. Based on our preliminary research, we found no established method on how to take a history from a patient with dementia and wanted to understand how providers were taking histories from patients with dementia.

How did you study this question?

I made an online survey about taking a history from patients with dementia, and sent the survey to nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and physicians who practice in broad range of specialties.

What did you learn through your research?

Through my research I obviously learned about how providers take a medical history from patients with dementia, and we found they do so in varied ways. Many rely on the patient’s family, medical record, or referring facility for information, but depending on the setting in which the provider practiced, they did not always feel they had time to use these resources to establish a complete history.

Who stands to benefit from this research?

All healthcare providers, patient with dementia, and family members/caregivers of patients with dementia stand to benefit from this research, because better medicine can be practiced when a patient’s medical history is fully understood.

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