Systematic review of recent dementia practice guidelines

Age Ageing. 2015 Jan;44(1):25-33. doi: 10.1093/ageing/afu143. Epub 2014 Oct 22.


Background: dementia is a highly prevalent acquired cognitive disorder that interferes with activities of daily living, relationships and quality of life. Recognition and effective management strategies are necessary to provide comprehensive care for these patients and their families. High-quality clinical practice guidelines can improve the quality and consistency of care in all aspects of dementia diagnosis and management by clarifying interventions supported by sound evidence and by alerting clinicians to interventions without proven benefit.

Objective: we aimed to offer a synthesis of existing practice recommendations for the diagnosis and management of dementia, based upon moderate-to-high quality dementia guidelines.

Methods: we performed a systematic search in EMBASE and MEDLINE as well as the grey literature for guidelines produced between 2008 and 2013.

Results: thirty-nine retrieved practice guidelines were included for quality appraisal by the Appraisal of Guidelines Research and Evaluation II (AGREE-II) tool, performed by two independent reviewers. From the 12 moderate-to-high quality guidelines included, specific practice recommendations for the diagnosis and/or management of any aspect of dementia were extracted for comparison based upon the level of evidence and strength of recommendation.

Conclusion: there was a general agreement between guidelines for many practice recommendations. However, direct comparisons between guidelines were challenging due to variations in grading schemes.

Keywords: clinical practice guideline; dementia; diagnosis; management; older people.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Affect
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Cognition
  • Consensus
  • Dementia / diagnosis
  • Dementia / psychology
  • Dementia / therapy*
  • Evidence-Based Medicine / standards
  • Geriatric Assessment
  • Geriatrics / standards*
  • Humans
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic / standards*
  • Practice Patterns, Physicians' / standards
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Treatment Outcome