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Diagnosis of cognitive disorders in primary health care in Poland
 
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1
Śląski Uniwersytet Medyczny, Wydział Nauk Medycznych w Katowicach, Katedra Neurologii
2
Instytut Psychologii, Wyższa Szkoła Humanitas, Sosnowiec
3
Śląski Uniwersytet Medyczny w Katowicach, Wydział Nauk o Zdrowiu w Bytomiu, Katedra i Zakład Podstawowych Nauk Medycznych
4
Śląski Uniwersytet Medyczny, Wydział Nauk Medycznych w Katowicach, Katedra Neurologii, Klinika Neurorehabilitacji
CORRESPONDING AUTHOR
Tomasz Chmiela   

Śląski Uniwersytet Medyczny, Wydział Nauk Medycznych w Katowicach, Katedra Neurologii
Submission date: 2020-12-13
Final revision date: 2021-04-27
Acceptance date: 2021-06-11
Online publication date: 2021-09-07
Publication date: 2021-09-07
 
 
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ABSTRACT
Objectives:
The aim of this study was to assess the knowledge, attitudes and the rules of proceeding concerning primary health care (PHC) doctors in the field of screening diagnostics for cognitive disorders in elderly people in Poland.

Methods:
The study included 175 PHC doctors. A validated anonymous questionnaire was used. The survey was conducted using the PAPI (Paper and Pencil Interviews) and CAWI (Computer Assisted Web Interviews) methods.

Results:
The vast majority of the respondents (n=159; 91.4%) saw the advisability of screening for cognitive disorders in the age group >65 years of age, but only 53 subjects (30.29%) believed that these tests should be conducted by general practitioners (GPs). According to the surveyed doctors, the main obstacle in the diagnostics of cognitive functions is the lack of time – this was the opinion of 142 (81.14%) respondents. When dementia was suspected, the respondents usually ordered laboratory tests and referred patients to a neurologist (n=111; 63.4%). The Mini Mental Status Examination (MMSE) and the Clock Drawing Test (CDT) were the most popular scales assessing cognitive functions, known by 120 doctors (68.57%), and 122 respondents (69.71%), respectively.

Conclusions:
Polish GPs are aware of the necessity of screening for cognitive disorders in seniors. Currently, there are no mechanisms within primary health care system that would enable proper early screening for dementia in people at the high risk (i.e.> 65 years of age). The development of standards for the early detection of cognitive disorders within primary health care system in Poland seems to be an urgent need

eISSN:2391-5854
ISSN:0033-2674