Dementia patients quadruple after scientist intervention at Chinese hospitals

The number of dementia patients diagnosed in a sample of Chinese hospitals more than quadrupled after intervention from a group of scientists conducting a three-stage study on treatment of the disease.

Researchers from Capital Medical University in Beijing first examined the dementia diagnosis methods,  number of patients,  number of doctors, and memory clinics  at 36 randomly selected hospitals across the country.

“In stage 2, we intervened based on drawbacks discovered in stage 1, implementing a dementia initiative program,” the study said.

In stage 3, they monitored the results.

“The percentage of patients diagnosed with dementia significantly increased from 0.10% (536 dementia patients of 553,986 outpatients) in stage 1 to 0.41% (2482 dementia patients of 599,214 outpatients) in stage 3,” it said.

Part of the problem addressed in the intervention was lack of doctors.

During creation of the dementia initiative program, the number of dementia doctors across all hospitals rose from 47 to 205.  Previously, only 6 of the hospitals had memory clinics.  By the end of the program all 36 had  established clinics.

While the small sample of hospitals has seen improvement , the larger problem of proper diagnosis still exists country-wide.

“Proper diagnosis and treatment are unavailable to many dementia patients because of a lack of dementia doctors and memory clinics in China,”  the study, Diagnosis and treatment of dementia in neurology outpatient departments of general hospitals in China, said.

It was published online on August 7 and the full study will appear in the Alzheimers & Dementia journal.

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