Dementia in Hungary: General practitioners’ routines and perspectives regarding early recognition

Réka Balogh, Nóra Imre, Edina Papp, Ildikó Kovács, Szilvia Heim, Kázmér Karádi, Ferenc Hajnal, Magdolna Pákáski, János Kálmán

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Background: Undetected dementia in primary care is a global problem. Since general practitioners (GPs) act as the first step in the identification process, examining their routines could help us to enhance the currently low recognition rates. Objectives: The study aimed to explore, for the first time in Hungary, the dementia identification practices and views of GPs. Methods: In the context of an extensive, national survey (February-November 2014) 8% of all practicing GPs in Hungary (n = 402) filled in a self-administered questionnaire. The questions (single, multiple-choice, Likert-type) analysed in the present study explored GPs’ methods and views regarding dementia identification and their ideas about the optimal circumstances of case-finding. Results: The vast majority of responding GPs (97%) agreed that the early recognition of dementia would enhance both the patients’ and their relatives’ well-being. When examining the possibility of dementia, most GPs (91%) relied on asking the patients general questions and only a quarter of them (24%) used formal tests, even though they were mostly satisfied with both the Clock Drawing Test (69%) and the Mini-Mental State Examination (65%). Longer consultation time was chosen as the most important facet of improvement needed for better identification of dementia in primary care (81%). Half of the GPs (49%) estimated dementia recognition rate to be lower than 30% in their practice. Conclusions: Hungarian GPs were aware of the benefits of early recognition, but the shortage of consultation time in primary care was found to be a major constraint on efficient case-finding.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7-13
Number of pages7
JournalEuropean Journal of General Practice
Issue number1
Publication statusAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2019


  • General practitioners
  • case-finding
  • cognitive tests
  • dementia
  • primary care

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Family Practice

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