"we need a one-stop-shop": Co-creating the model of care for a multidisciplinary memory clinic with community members, GPs, aged care workers, service providers, and policy-makers

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Background: Timely diagnosis of dementia has a wide range of benefits including reduced hospital emergency department presentations, admissions and inpatient length of stay, and improved quality of life for patients and their carers by facilitating access to treatments that reduce symptoms, and allow time to plan for the future. Memory clinics can provide such services, however there is no 'gold standard' model of care. This study involved the co-creation of a model of care for a new multidisciplinary memory clinic with local community members, General Practitioners (GPs), policy-makers, community aged care workers, and service providers. Methods: Data collection comprised semi-structured interviews (N = 98) with 20 GPs, and three 2-h community forums involving 53 seniors and community/local government representatives, and 25 community healthcare workers. Interviews and community forums were audio-recorded, transcribed verbatim, and coded by thematic analysis using Quirkos. Results: GPs' attitudes towards their role in assessing people with dementia varied. Many GPs reported that they found it useful for patients to have a diagnosis of dementia, but required support from secondary care to make the diagnosis and assist with subsequent management. Community forum participants felt they had a good knowledge of available dementia resources and services, but noted that these were highly fragmented and needed to be easier to navigate for the patient/carer via a 'one-stop-shop' and the provision of a dementia key worker. Expectations for the services and features of a new memory clinic included diagnostic services, rapid referrals, case management, education, legal services, culturally sensitive and appropriate services, allied health, research participation opportunities, and clear communication with GPs. Participants described several barriers to memory clinic utilisation including transportation access, funding, awareness, and costs. Conclusion: This study demonstrates the importance of working with stakeholders to co-design models of care for people with dementia that take into account the local communities' needs. Findings pave the way for the development of a potential new "gold standard" memory clinic model of care and operationalise new national clinical guidelines.




Steiner, G. Z., Ee, C., Dubois, S., MacMillan, F., George, E. S., McBride, K. A., … Hohenberg, M. I. (2020). “we need a one-stop-shop”: Co-creating the model of care for a multidisciplinary memory clinic with community members, GPs, aged care workers, service providers, and policy-makers. BMC Geriatrics, 20(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12877-019-1410-x

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