Alzheimer’s Association Taps Versta Research for Special Report on Physician Readiness
April 2, 2020
Last month the Alzheimer’s Association released its 2020 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures report, a statistical resource for U.S. data related to Alzheimer’s disease, the most common cause of dementia. The report included a Special Report that examines the experiences, exposure, training, and attitudes related to dementia care among primary care physicians (PCPs), recent medical school graduates, and recent residency program graduates now in primary care practice. Versta Research was commissioned to conduct surveys of 1,000 primary care physicians, 200 recent primary care medical residents, and 202 recent medical school graduates.
The surveys found that nearly 9 in 10 primary care physicians (87%) expect to see an increase in people living with dementia during the next five years, but half (50%) say the medical profession is not prepared to meet this demand. Four out of five (82%) say they are on the front lines of providing dementia care, but:
- Nearly two in five (39%) report they are “never” or only “sometimes comfortable” making a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s or other dementias
- More than one-quarter (27%) report they are “never” or only “sometimes comfortable” answering patient questions about Alzheimer’s or other dementias
- 22% of all PCPs had no residency training in dementia diagnosis and care. Of the 78% who did undergo training, 65% reported that the amount was “very little.”
While a majority of PCPs (58%) feel that the quality of existing training options is either “good” or “excellent,” challenges in obtaining dementia care training were noted. Nearly a third (31%) say current options are difficult to access, and half (51%) say there are too few options for continuing education and training on dementia care. In fact, 37% of PCPs reported that they learned the most about dementia care from their own experiences treating patients, second only to CME courses (40%).
Commenting on the research findings, Joanne Pike, Dr. P.H., chief program officer of the Alzheimer’s Association said: “We’re heading toward a medical emergency, when it comes to ensuring dementia care will be available for all who need it and it must be addressed. Individuals and families impacted by Alzheimer’s and other dementias already face enough challenges; having access to doctors providing quality and timely dementia care should not be another.”
The results were reported by U.S. News & World Report, among other news outlets. Full details are available in the Association’s press release and in the 2020 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures report. Results are summarized in an infographic and video clip, as well.
About Versta Research
Versta is a firm specializing in customized market research and public opinion polling. It helps clients understand their customers, prospects, and competition with expertise and academic brainpower. And it helps clients communicate that research to managers, clients, reporters, and the audiences they need to reach.