Obtaining a diagnosis of dementia for a relative can be a protracted and anxious time for family members. This paper reports results from a focus group study and a subsequently mailed survey of family caregivers on factors which delayed obtaining a diagnosis for a dementing illness. The average time between initial symptom recognition and diagnosis was 30 months. Four kinds of factors were identified as delaying diagnosis, including the caregiver's lack of knowledge or reluctance to seek help, and patient, family, and physician-related factors. Of the 57 percent of survey respondents who reported a delay of at least 12 months between initial symptom recognition and diagnosis, 68 percent reported at least one factor related to their interaction with physicians. Qualitative data provide insight into family caregiver perspectives on factors delaying diagnosis.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||7|
|Journal||American Journal of Alzheimer's Disease and Other Dementias|
|State||Published - Jan 1999|
ASJC Scopus subject areas