Use of health and social care services in a cohort of Italian dementia patients

Funct Neurol. Oct-Dec 2013;28(4):265-73. doi: 10.11138/FNeur/2013.28.4.265.


The aim of this study, conducted in the Region of Lazio, Italy, in 2008-2010, was to describe the use, over a one-year period, of health and social care services in a cohort of 712 patients with a diagnosis of dementia. These patients had never previously used such services. We evaluated the association between the patients' sociodemographic and clinical characteristics and their use of services. Sociodemographic and clinical data were collected at baseline using validated instruments, while the use of services was investigated at the end of the one-year follow-up through a structured (questionnaire-based) interview with the caregiver. We found that 11.9% of patients used health or social care services. The most frequent diagnoses were: Alzheimer's disease (72.1%), mixed dementia (20.5%), and vascular dementia (9.7%). A higher probability of use of services was observed in patients with: more than five years of schooling (OR=1.79; 95%CI:1.08-2.96); one or more comorbidity (OR=4.87; 95%CI:2.05- 11.57); severe (OR=4.78; 95%CI:1.75-13.06) or moderate dementia (OR=2.08; 95%CI:0.98-4.40). The low health and social care service use among dementia patients in this study could be explained by a lack of availability of services. Public health authorities should plan adequate networks of services, considering both patients and caregivers' needs.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Cohort Studies
  • Dementia / therapy*
  • Female
  • Health Services / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Italy
  • Male
  • Social Work, Psychiatric*