Family physicians' recommendations for help-seeking for a person with Alzheimer's disease

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Background and aims: To assess family physicians' recommendations for help-seeking for a person with Alzheimer's disease, and their relation to knowledge about symptoms of the disease. Method: An experimental vignette method was used, with a nationally representative sample of 395 Israeli family physicians. Intentions to seek help from professional and non-professional sources and knowledge about 11 warning signs of Alzheimer's disease (AD) and 4 non-AD symptoms was assessed. Results: With the exception of the spouse and children, family physicians were more likely to recommend seeking help from professional than from non-professional sources. The main professional sources recommended concerned primary care. Participants were very knowledgeable about the symptoms of AD, and more knowledge about cognitive symptoms was associated with recommendations to seek help from specialists and primary care sources. Conclusions: The findings of this study emphasize the complexity of recommendations for help-seeking in the management of dementia, and stress the importance of improving physicians' knowledge about symptoms of the disease and about guidelines suggesting collaboration with specialists and community professionals.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)356-363
Number of pages8
JournalAging clinical and experimental research
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 2007

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Parts of this manuscript were presented at the International AD Conference held in Madrid in July, 2006. This study was partially funded by a grant from the Israel Science Foundation.


  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Family physicians
  • Help-seeking
  • Knowledge
  • Symptoms

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Aging


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