Dementia patients who see the same primary care physician report higher levels of well-being. A new study shows that individuals who regularly see the same primary care physician have fewer health problems and need fewer trips to the hospital emergency room.
The research found that individuals with Dementia who had a greater level of continuity of GP care were more likely to get safe medication and had a reduced risk of serious adverse events.
Dementia affects an estimated 900,000 persons in the United Kingdom.
This number is expected to almost triple to 153 million by 2050, from the current 57 million people throughout the world.
In 2016, more than 9,000 persons aged 65 and over in England were diagnosed with Dementia, according to a study published in the British Journal of General Practice by the University of Exeter.
According to the study, people living with Dementia who the same doctor treated for a full 12 months had lower medication dosages, fewer falls, incontinence, and tiredness.
People with Dementia who continue to visit the same primary care physician (PCP) had a 35% lower risk of developing delirium, a condition of confusion.
There was a 58% reduction in incontinence and a 10% reduction in emergency hospitalizations among patients who visited the same GP regularly vs. those who saw a wide variety of doctors.
The researchers added that delirium and incontinence are not only stressful for patients, but they may also cost the NHS money.
When there is no treatment, long-term care is very critical, says research author Dr. Joo Delgado of Exeter University. There are several factors to consider while treating a person who has Dementia, including other prevalent disorders.
General Practitioners Number Falls Short
According to our study, patients who visit the same GP for long periods are more likely to get safe and effective prescriptions. Reduced treatment costs and care requirements are only two of the benefits this might have on the healthcare system.
Co-author and GP researcher at Exeter’s St Leonard’s Practice Sir Denis Pereira Gray emphasized the importance of patients having a named GP.
General practices may still offer excellent continuity by employing personal lists, even if Uk national politicians have opposed it for years, he remarked.
We may not be able to provide dementia patients with consistent GP treatment in the immediate aftermath of the pandemic because of the strain on GP services brought on by the outbreak. Still, policymakers should work closely with the NHS to address this issue as soon as the outbreak is over.
According to the findings, “safer prescription” and “lower rates of significant adverse events” were linked to longer-term continuity of GP care for patients with Dementia.
Prof Martin Marshall, chair of the Royal College of GPs, stated that patients and GPs highly value continuity of care. There is substantial research evidence that it is associated with better patient outcomes and more effective use of NHS services.
For people with Dementia, in particular, the results of this study demonstrate that it may be helpful.
However, escalating GP workload and staffing constraints have made it more difficult for doctors to give the best treatment to all of their patients, including continuity for those who want and value it, according to Marshall.
Ultimately, what is required to enable GPs to give continuity of care to those patients who value it is more GPs and more members of the practice team to spend more time with patients, as noted by him.
The UK government must fulfill its promise of 6,000 additional GPs and thousands more members of the practice team to ensure that GPs can provide adequate care to patients with Dementia and all other patients.
Doris’s passion for writing started to take shape in college where she was editor-in-chief of the college newspaper. Even though she ended up working in IT for more than 7 years, she’s now back to what he always enjoyed doing. With a true passion for technology, Doris mostly covers tech-related topics.