INTRODUCTION: people with dementia are more likely to come into contact with a geriatrician than any other hospital specialty. Whilst it is known that there are some geriatricians with a special interest in dementia, it is unclear how this group of clinicians gained experience, and what their opinions are on current training.
METHODS: we obtained a list of geriatricians known to have an interest in dementia care (known as dementia champions) from the British Geriatric Society Dementia and Similar Disorders Special Interest Group. We contacted 100 'dementia champions' with an invitation to respond to a questionnaire relating to their role, experience and opinions on current training in dementia within geriatric medicine.
RESULTS: fifty-five geriatricians responded. Ninety-one per cent were consultant physicians, and 71% were not involved in outpatient diagnostic services. Fifty-six per cent reported that their experience was via clinical attachments with old age psychiatry, and 47% regarded themselves as 'self-taught'. The majority felt that current training was inadequate with a need for more structure and time spent on attachments, less geographical variation, more training at undergraduate level and throughout other specialties and better collaboration with psychiatry.
DISCUSSION: this is the first survey of the views of geriatricians leading on dementia care in acute hospitals within the UK. It gives a useful insight into how they have gained their own experience, and their opinions on how training may be improved. Equipped with the right training and expertise in diagnosis and management of dementia perhaps geriatricians may feel more confident in taking a lead in dementia care.
- Attitude of Health Personnel
- Cooperative Behavior
- Education, Medical, Graduate/methods
- Health Care Surveys
- Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
- Interdisciplinary Communication
- Physician's Role
- Quality of Health Care
- Surveys and Questionnaires
- United Kingdom