BACKGROUND: The literature has emphasized the role of general practitioners (GPs) in caring for Alzheimer's disease (AD) patients. Within the framework of the French national AD plan, an inquiry was undertaken to identify the clinical practices, difficulties and training needs of GPs managing this pathology. METHODS: A random sample from a representative national listing of continental French GPs following >=1 AD patients comprised the study population. Participants completed a standard questionnaire on their clinical practices, difficulties and educational needs for AD management. Feeling insufficiently trained was subjected to univariate and multivariate analyses. RESULTS: A minority of the 974 respondents declared using questionnaires in their diagnostic evaluation (15.2%), told the patient the diagnosis (8.2%) and was aware of the national recommendations for AD (41.9%). Behavioral disorders represented the most common (73.5%) problem encountered, while half of the GPs considered management of comorbidities easy roles to fulfill. In comparison, coordination of care and assistance did not seem to be a primary problem. A score was calculated, attributing 1 point to each of the following items: need for further education in terms of communications with the family, with patients, disclosing the diagnosis, and non-drug treatments. The factors linked to feeling insufficiently trained for 3 or 4 of the 4 items were: female sex; not involved in educational programs (for parents/family and patients) and no activity related to training medical students. CONCLUSIONS: Our study identified gaps in French GP training concerning AD diagnosis practices and diagnosis announcement. GPs seemed aware of their educational needs and described difficulties in managing behavioral disorders. Our findings enabled the definition of policy priorities to provide training and disseminate information.[résumé auteur]
Auteur : Somme D., Gautier A., Pin S., Corvol A.
Bmc Family Practice, 2013, vol. 14, n°. 81