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Dementia Risk Reduction in Primary Care: A Scoping Review of Clinical Guidelines Using a Behavioral Specificity Framework

Godbee, K., Guccione, L., Palmer, V. J. , Gunn, J., Lautenschlager, N. & Francis, J. J. ORCID: 0000-0001-5784-8895 (2022). Dementia Risk Reduction in Primary Care: A Scoping Review of Clinical Guidelines Using a Behavioral Specificity Framework. Journal of Alzheimer's Disease, 89(3), pp. 789-802. doi: 10.3233/jad-220382


BACKGROUND: Primary care practitioners are being called upon to work with their patients to reduce dementia risk. However, it is unclear who should do what with whom, when, and under what circumstances.

OBJECTIVE: This scoping review aimed to identify clinical guidelines for dementia risk reduction (DRR) in primary care settings, synthesize the guidelines into actionable behaviors, and appraise the guidelines for specificity.

METHODS: Terms related to "dementia", "guidelines", and "risk reduction" were entered into two academic databases and two web search engines. Guidelines were included if they referred specifically to clinical practices for healthcare professionals for primary prevention of dementia. Included guidelines were analyzed using a directed content analysis method, underpinned by the Action-Actor-Context-Target-Time framework for specifying behavior.

RESULTS: Eighteen guidelines were included in the analysis. Together, the guidelines recommended six distinct clusters of actions for DRR. These were to 1) invite patients to discuss DRR, 2) identify patients with risk factors for dementia, 3) discuss DRR, 4) manage dementia risk factors, 5) signpost to additional support, and 6) follow up. Guidelines recommended various actors, contexts, targets, and times for performing these actions. Together, guidelines lacked specificity and were at times contradictory.

CONCLUSION: Currently available guidelines allow various approaches to promoting DRR in primary care. Primary care teams are advised to draw on the results of the review to decide which actions to undertake and the locally appropriate actors, contexts, targets, and times for these actions. Documenting these decisions in more specific, local guidelines for promoting DRR should facilitate implementation.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: © 2022 – The authors. Published by IOS Press. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License (CC BY-NC 4.0).
Publisher Keywords: Dementia, general practice, guideline, primary health care, primary prevention, review
Subjects: R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0321 Neuroscience. Biological psychiatry. Neuropsychiatry
Departments: School of Health & Psychological Sciences
SWORD Depositor:
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