Disclosure of Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia: Patient- and Care Partner-Centric Decision-Making and Communication
Disclosing the diagnosis of cognitive impairment or dementia due to Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and Related Dementias (ADRD) can be one of the most challenging aspects of dementia care for clinicians. However difficult the diagnosis is to give or receive, evidence and evidence-based consensus support that disclosing a timely AD/ADRD diagnosis, accompanied by psychoeducation and care planning, is beneficial to patient-care partner dyads. Diagnosis, provided as early as possible, increases the likelihood for patients to be involved in decision-making and planning for their future and allows care options to be implemented sooner to provide greater clinical and quality-of-life benefits, reduce potential for harm, and mitigate symptoms and decline. Using patient-centered communication and following a structured process, clinicians can provide a successful disclosure of diagnosis as a component of the necessary foundation to implement impactful management and care planning for patients and caregivers going through a life-changing process.
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