The nurse's role in closing the diagnostic gap for people with dementia

Katherine Leach, Allan Hicks

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Inequalities in health-care access exist for people with dementia (PWD), as reflected in regional, national and international variations in diagnostic rates. This article considers three overlapping themes that emerged from a literature search on the subject: GP competencies, confidence and belief systems; lack of awareness of dementia and different belief systems among carers; and the context of primary health care. These three themes support policy drivers on perceived barriers to achieving a diagnosis of dementia. The context of primary health care, with GPs often regarded as the first point of contact for PWD and their carers, further inhibits inclusive and equitable access to health care for all. Nurses work at the interface between the community and PWD, and are well placed to identify subtle changes during the early stage of dementia. Due to a rising ageing population, the context of primary care needs to change, utilising nurses' roles within public health and secondary prevention.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)433-440
Number of pages8
JournalBritish Journal of Community Nursing
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 27 Sept 2013


  • Dementia
  • General practice
  • Health inequalities
  • Primary care
  • Timely diagnosis


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