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Disclosing the diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease 

Disclosing the diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease
Chapter:
Disclosing the diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease
Author(s):

Anne A. Fetherston

and Julian C. Hughes

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780198779803.003.0007
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date: 22 January 2021

Diagnostic disclosure of Alzheimer’s disease is generally accepted to be good practice; however, there are important factors for clinicians to consider when preparing to impart such a serious diagnosis. In particular, this chapter explores the issues around timing of the disclosure and determining the correct amount of information to give. It highlights the need for good knowledge of the individual—knowledge of the person’s current mental capacity, the person’s own views, as well as those of the family—in order to provide really good care. It also addresses issues of uncertainty such as making a very early diagnosis and giving an accurate prognosis. The chapter suggests that it is the person (rather than the professional) who should control the situation, and that professionals must be attuned to what the person and family require from them. It also highlights the need for sound post-diagnostic support and follow-up.

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