Pathways to care for people with dementia: An international multicentre study

Umberto Volpe, Hania Amin, Olatunde O. Ayinde, Alistair Burns, Wai Chi Chan, Renaud David, Slavica Djukic Dejanovic, Gorica Djokic, Defne Eraslan, Giulia A.L. Fischer, Patricia Gracia-García, Syed Usman Hamdani, Changsu Han, Hussain Jafri, Roy A. Kallivayalil, Roderick Leonard Kriekaart, Ee Heok Kua, Linda C.W. Lam, Dusica Lecic-Tosevski, Iracema LeroiAntonio Lobo, Adriana Mihai, Fareed Aslam Minhas, Heena Mistry, Afolakemi T. Ogundele, Marcel G.M. Olde Rikkert, Javier Olivera, Claudia Palumbo, Angela Parker, Bojana Pejuskovic, Florian Riese, Philippe Robert, Maya Semrau, Gabriela Stoppe, Sanu Sudhakar, Andreea Raluca Tirintica, Sehrish Tofique, Chris Tsoi, Lucas Wolski, Irem Yalug, Huali Wang, Xin Yu, Norman Sartorius

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    15 Citations (Scopus)


    Objective: The aim of the present study was to characterize the clinical pathways that people with dementia (PwD) in different countries follow to reach specialized dementia care. Methods: We recruited 548 consecutive clinical attendees with a standardized diagnosis of dementia, in 19 specialized public centres for dementia care in 15 countries. The WHO “encounter form,” a standardized schedule that enables data concerning basic socio-demographic, clinical, and pathways data to be gathered, was completed for each participant. Results: The median time from the appearance of the first symptoms to the first contact with specialist dementia care was 56 weeks. The primary point of access to care was the general practitioners (55.8%). Psychiatrists, geriatricians, and neurologists represented the most important second point of access. In about a third of cases, PwD were prescribed psychotropic drugs (mostly antidepressants and tranquillizers). Psychosocial interventions (such as psychological counselling, psychotherapy, and practical advice) were delivered in less than 3% of situations. The analyses of the “pathways diagram” revealed that the path of PwD to receiving care is complex and diverse across countries and that there are important barriers to clinical care. Conclusions: The study of pathways followed by PwD to reach specialized care has implications for the subsequent course and the outcome of dementia. Insights into local differences in the clinical presentations and the implementation of currently available dementia care are essential to develop more tailored strategies for these patients, locally, nationally, and internationally.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)163-173
    Number of pages11
    JournalInternational Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 2020 Feb 1

    Bibliographical note

    Publisher Copyright:
    © 2019 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.


    • dementia
    • geriatric psychiatry
    • health care policy
    • outcome
    • pathways to care
    • time to diagnosis

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Geriatrics and Gerontology
    • Psychiatry and Mental health


    Dive into the research topics of 'Pathways to care for people with dementia: An international multicentre study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this