i) To develop evidence based consensus statements on which to build clinical practice guidelines for primary care physicians towards the recognition, assessment and management of dementing disorders; ii) to disseminate and evaluate the impact of these statements and guidelines built on these statements.
Structured approach to assessment, including recommended laboratory tests, choices for neuroimaging and referral; management of complications (especially behaviour problems and depression) and use of cognitive enhancing agents.
Consistent and improved clinical care of persons with dementia; cost containment by more selective use of laboratory investigations, neuroimaging and referrals; appropriate use of cognitive enhancing agents.
Authors of each background paper were entrusted to: perform a literature search, discover additional relevant material including references cited in retrieved articles; consult with other experts in the field and then synthesize information. Standard rules of evidence were applied. Based upon this evidence, consensus statements were developed by a group of experts, guided by a steering committee of eight individuals from the areas of Neurology, Geriatric Medicine, Psychiatry, Family Medicine, Preventive Health Care and Health Care Systems.
Recommendations have been developed with particular attention to the context of primary care and are intended to support family physicians in their ongoing assessment and care of patients with dementia.
Benefits, harms and costs:
Potential for improved clinical care of individuals with dementia. A dissemination and evaluation strategy will attempt to measure the impact of the recommendations.
Four other sets of consensus statements and/or guidelines have been published recently. These recommendations are generally congruent with our own consensus statements. The consensus statements have been endorsed by relevant bodies in Canada.
Funding was provided by equal contributions from seven pharmaceutical companies and by a grant from the Consortium of Canadian Centres for Clinical Cognitive Research (C5R). Contributions were received from two Canadian universities (McGill, McMaster). Several societies supported delegates to the conference.