New guidelines for diagnosis and treatment of dementia

17 Mar 2016

New practice guidelines for the diagnosis and treatment of dementia in Australia promise to help frontline health care professionals improve the quality and consistency of the care they offer their dementia patients, according to a Clinical Focus published online this week by the Medical Journal of Australia.

A collaboration of 23 authors, including consumer representatives, from 17 institutions developed the guidelines, which were adapted for the Australian context from the UK’s National Institute for Health and Care Excellence recommendations.

“The quality of clinical practice in dementia care in Australia is variable,” wrote Dr Kate Laver, Research Fellow at Flinders University and co-authors of the new guidelines.

“The availability of high-quality services to support workforce training, diagnosis and ongoing care, advance care planning and support for families to provide care is inconsistent. Clinical practice guidelines can improve uptake of research findings by identifying, synthesising and disseminating evidence to clinicians. Most importantly, adherence to clinical practice guidelines can improve the quality and consistency of care.”

The guidelines, which provide 109 recommendations, address care of people with dementia in community, residential care and hospital settings.

MJA Clinical Focus: Clinical practice guidelines for dementia in Australia