Primary care and dementia: 2. long-term care at home: psychosocial interventions, information provision, carer support and case management
Objective: To write a narrative review of the role of primary care physicians in the long-term care of people with dementia living at home, with a focus on psychosocial interventions, the provision of information and carer support, behavioural and psychological symptoms and case management. Methods: The systematic review carried out for the NICE/SCIE Guidelines was updated from January 2006, Cochrane Reviews were identified and other publications found by consultations with experts. Results: In primary care, the long-term care of people with dementia living at home can be structured around several key themes: reframing dementia with a focus on a social model of disability; active use of information sources; supporting carers (caregivers); the management of behavioural and psychological symptoms and a structured case management approach. Conclusions: Caring for people with dementia in primary care demands the same systematic approach as the management of other long-term conditions. The systematic follow-up of both people with dementia and their carers should be integrated into primary care. Reframing dementia, with an emphasis on abilities retained may allow people with dementia and their families to develop more effective coping strategies; an increase in skill mix within primary care is required to deliver this and may also improve the management of behavioural problems. The potential benefits of person-centred interventions, like advance care planning, and alternative models of service delivery, such as a structured, collaborative care approach which promotes integrated case management within primary care, require further evaluation.