Diagnosing dementia: Perspectives of primary care physicians

Linda Boise, Richard Camicioli, David L. Morgan, Julia H. Rose, Leslie Congleton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

275 Scopus citations


As few as 50% of dementia cases are diagnosed by physicians. This study investigated how primary care physicians assess patients for dementia and identified barriers to dementia diagnosis in the primary care setting. Seventy-eight physicians in three geographic areas participated in 18 focus groups. Barriers identified included: (a) the failure to recognize and respond to symptoms of dementia; (b) a perceived lack of need to determine a specific diagnosis; (c) limited time; and (d) negative attitudes toward the importance of assessment and diagnosis. These barriers keep physicians from diagnosing dementia and, consequently, from offering concrete help for patients experiencing symptoms of dementia or for the families who care for them.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)457-464
Number of pages8
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1999
Externally publishedYes


  • Dementia
  • Diagnosis
  • Primary care

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gerontology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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