Diagnostic dilemmas in Alzheimer's disease: Room for shared decision making

Alzheimers Dement (N Y). 2017 May 9;3(3):301-304. doi: 10.1016/j.trci.2017.03.008. eCollection 2017 Sep.


The launch of the NIA-AA research criteria for Alzheimer's disease (AD) diagnosis illustrates the large advances that have been made in the field of AD diagnosis. These new possibilities however also introduce new dilemmas into the consulting room, and this provides room for shared decision making (SDM). SDM refers to clinicians and patients (and/or their caregivers) working together to decide which care plan best fits individual patients and their lives, when there is more than one reasonable option. Here, we describe how SDM in the diagnosis of AD promotes patient-centered care, as it helps to adapt the diagnostic process to the patients' values and preferences. We provide an outline for a research agenda, as SDM in the diagnosis of dementia should be studied intensively incorporating the views of both patients and caregivers.

Keywords: Alzheimer; Communication; Diagnostic testing; Mild cognitive impairment; Shared decision making.

Publication types

  • Review