Identifying the components of clinical vignettes describing Alzheimer’s disease or other dementias: a scoping review
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BACKGROUND: Clinical vignettes are often used to elicit information about health conditions in research studies. This review summarizes the components of clinical vignettes describing Alzheimer's disease (AD) or other dementias. The purpose is to provide recommendations for the development of standardized vignettes that may be used in future studies. METHODS: MEDLINE, EMBASE, PsycINFO, ASSIA, CINAHL were searched from their inception to June 2014. Primary English-language studies employing vignettes to describe AD or similar disorders (including other dementias and Parkinson's disease) were included in the review. Included studies had to describe the content of the vignettes in the published manuscripts. The characteristics of the included studies and the vignettes were extracted in tabular form and summarized qualitatively. RESULTS: Forty-two studies were included in the review. Twenty-four of the studies contained at least one AD vignette, 11 had vignettes focusing on non-AD dementias, and seven contained vignettes describing conditions other than dementia. In total, 58 vignettes were obtained from the 42 included studies. CONCLUSIONS: Key aspects to consider when constructing vignettes for AD or other dementias include writing the vignettes from a third-person perspective and presenting hypothetical patients as being at least 65 years of age. Researchers should develop standardized vignettes for use across studies.
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