Description of organizational and clinician characteristics of primary dementia care in Canada: a multi-method study Academic Article uri icon

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abstract

  • Abstract Background Organizational and clinician characteristics are important considerations for the implementation of evidence-based recommendations into primary care practice. The introduction of Canadian dementia practice guidelines and Alzheimer strategies offers a unique context to study which of the organizational and clinician characteristics align with good quality care in primary care practices. Methods To evaluate the quality of dementia care, we carried out a retrospective chart review in randomly selected patients with a diagnosis of dementia and who had a visit during a 9-month period in 33 primary care practices. We collected data on indicators that were based on existing Canadian evidence-based recommendations to measure a quality of dementia care score. In addition, four questionnaires were administered: two questionnaires to evaluate the organizational characteristics of the practices (dementia-specific and general organization) and two to evaluate the clinician characteristics (one for family physicians and one for nurses). Primary care practices were stratified into tertiles based on their average quality of dementia care score (low, moderate, high). The differences between the groups organizational and clinician questionnaires scores were analyzed descriptively and visually. Results The mean overall scores for each questionnaire were higher in the high quality of dementia care group. When looking at the breakdown of the overall score into each characteristic, the high-quality group had a higher average score for the dementia-specific organizational characteristics of “access to and coordination with home and community services”, “financial support”, “training”, “coordination and continuity within the practice”, and “caregiver support and involvement”. The characteristic “Leadership” showed a higher average score for the moderate and high-quality groups than the low-quality group. In both clinician questionnaires, the high group scored better in “attitudes towards the Alzheimer’s plan” than the other two groups. Conclusions These results suggest that investing in organizational characteristics specifically aimed at dementia care is a promising avenue to improve quality of dementia care in primary care. These results may be useful to enhance the implementation of evidence-based practices and improve the quality of dementia care.

publication date

  • December 2022