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Services for people with young onset dementia: the ‘Angela’ project national UK survey of service use and satisfaction

Stamou, Vasileios, La Fontaine, Jenny, Gage, Heather, Jones, Bridget, Williams, Peter, O'Malley, Mary, Parkes, Jacqueline, Carter, Janet and Oyebode, Jan (2021) Services for people with young onset dementia: the ‘Angela’ project national UK survey of service use and satisfaction. International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, 36 (3). pp. 411-422. ISSN 0885-6230

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Abstract

Objectives Young onset dementia is associated with distinctive support needs but existing research on service provision has been largely small scale and qualitative. Our objective was to explore service use, cost and satisfaction across the UK. Methods Information about socio‐demographic characteristics, service use and satisfaction were gathered from people with young onset dementia and/or a family member/supporter via a national survey. Results Two hundred and thirty‐three responses were analysed. Diagnosis was most commonly received through a Memory Clinic or Neurology. The type of service delivering diagnosis impacted on post‐diagnostic care. Those diagnosed in specialist young onset dementia services were more likely to receive support within the first six weeks and receive ongoing care in the service where they were diagnosed. Ongoing care management arrangements varied but generally care was lacking. Around 42% reported no follow‐up during 6‐weeks after diagnosis; over a third reported seeing no health professional within the previous three months; just over a third had a key worker and just under a third had a care plan. Satisfaction and quality of care were highest in specialist services. Almost 60% of family members spent over 5 hours per day caring; Median costs of health and social care, 3 months, 2018, were £394 (IQR £389 to 640). Conclusions Variation across diagnostic and post‐diagnostic care pathways for young onset dementia leads to disparate experiences, with specialist young onset services being associated with better continuity, quality and satisfaction. More specialist services are needed so all with young onset dementia can access age‐appropriate care.

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