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Antidementia Drug Treatment in People Screened Positive for Dementia in Primary Care



There is a lack of knowledge about antidementia drug treatment in community dwelling people with dementia in Germany.


To determine the frequency of treatment with antidementia drugs in patients in primary care, and the socio-demographic and clinical variables associated with antidementia drug treatment.


Present analyses are based on preliminary data from the DelpHi-trial, an ongoing GP-based, cluster-randomized, controlled intervention trial to implement and evaluate an innovative concept of collaborative dementia care management in Germany. Our sample consists of n = 243 subjects who screened positive for dementia.


29.6% (n = 72) of participants received antidementia drugs: memantine 44.5% (n = 32); donepezil 30.5% (n = 22); rivastigmine 13.9% (n = 10); galantamine 11.1% (n = 8). A total of 46.4% (n = 45) of the subgroup of participants with a formal dementia diagnosis received antidementia drug treatment. Approximately 37.5% (n = 27) of our sample received treatment with antidementia drugs without having a formal diagnosis. Treatment with antidementia drugs was significantly associated with more severe cognitive impairment and having a formal dementia diagnosis.


One in three people who screened positive for dementia in primary care received antidementia drug treatment, indicating the frequent use of this class of drugs. For those with a formal dementia diagnosis, these drug treatment rates are more than triple, compared to those in nursing homes.