Delays in the diagnosis of dementia: Perspectives of family caregivers

Linda Boise, David L. Morgan, Jeffrey Kaye, Richard Camicioli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

77 Scopus citations


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 languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)20-26
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Journal of Alzheimer's Disease and Other Dementias
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience


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