Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and other neurocognitive disorders (NCD) concern more and more people in Canada. They are the leading cause of disability in older adults and cost Canadian society several billions of dollars per year. In Québec, it has been estimated that these disorders affected some 115,000 people in 2015.
Primary care health and social service professionals are in an ideal position to detect NCDs because they are generally very familiar with patients’ family histories, medical histories and prior functioning. Yet, it appears that the detection of AD and other NCDs could be increased in primary care. The main barriers to detecting and diagnosing these disorders in primary care include the lack of familiarity with warning signs and symptoms and case-finding tools, the lack of time and means, the complexity of the diagnostic process, and the belief that early detection increases patient and family distress.
This is the context in which the Ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux (MSSS) asked the Institut national d’excellence en santé et en services sociaux (INESSS) to produce an assessment report in favour of developing clinical practice support tools for the detection and diagnosis of AD and other NCDs.