Further development needed: models of post-diagnostic support for people with dementia

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Current Opinion in Psychiatry


Purpose of reviewThere is increasing recognition of a service gap immediately after diagnosis for people with dementia and carers. This narrative review of models of post-diagnostic support focuses on recent developments and offers suggestions for future development. We present the current evidence for these models and consider the service components they provide against the recommendations of clinical guidelines and principles underpinning ideal post-diagnostic support.Recent findingsModels of post-diagnostic support include a short-term support worker, ongoing support worker, centre-based support, primary care management, and specialist dementia clinics. Of these, specialist dementia clinics that include ongoing support workers provide most components of an ideal and timely post-diagnostic support framework, but may be more costly to implement universally. The greatest research evidence is for the benefits of long-term support models, specifically case management, though this does not necessarily include medical care or nonpharmacological interventions. There is sparce evidence for the benefits of short-term support worker models such as dementia advisers for people with dementia and carers.SummaryFurther development is needed to create whole-system models of dementia support which meet the needs of people with dementia and their carers, are timely, accessible and equitable, and can be implemented universally.

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