Trends in diagnosis and treatment for people with dementia in the UK 2005-2015

Donegan, K. et al. The Lancet Public Health | Published online: 23 February 2017

Image shows proportion of CPRD (Clinical Practice Research Datalink) population diagnosed with dementia in the UK by region between July, 2005, and June, 2015

Background: The objectives of this study were to describe changes in the proportion of people diagnosed with dementia and the pharmacological treatments prescribed to them over a 10 year period from 2005 to 2015 at a time of UK policy strategies and prioritisation of dementia. We aimed to explore the potential impact of policy on dementia care.

Interpretation: Over the 10 years studied, there is evidence of a sustained positive change in diagnosis rates of dementia and in the quality of drug treatment provided to those diagnosed. The prescription of antidementia drugs more than doubled and the prescription of potentially hazardous antipsychotics halved after the introduction of national dementia strategies. These data support the formulation and delivery of national policy to improve the quality of care for people with dementia.

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