Clinical Care and Unmet Needs of Individuals With Dementia With Lewy Bodies and Caregivers: An Interview Study

Alzheimer Dis Assoc Disord. 2021 Oct-Dec;35(4):327-334. doi: 10.1097/WAD.0000000000000459.


Background: Patient-centered care requires understanding patient preferences and needs, but research on the clinical care preferences of individuals living with dementia and caregivers is sparse, particularly in dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB).

Methods: Investigators conducted telephone interviews with individuals living with DLB and caregivers from a Lewy body dementia specialty center. Interviews employed a semistructured questionnaire querying helpful aspects of care and unmet needs. Investigators used a qualitative descriptive approach to analyze transcripts and identify themes.

Results: Twenty individuals with DLB and 25 caregivers participated. Twenty-three of the caregivers were spouses, 2 were daughters. Aspects of clinical care valued by individuals with DLB and caregivers included clinician time, diagnosis, education, symptom management, communication, and caring staff. Unmet needs or challenges included patient/caregiver education, education of nonspecialist clinicians and community care providers, scheduling difficulties, caregiver support, financial concerns, assistance with advance care planning and finding local resources, and effective treatments for DLB symptoms.

Conclusion and relevance: Improving care for individuals with DLB and their families will require a multipronged strategy including education for nonspecialist care providers, increasing specialty care access, improved clinical care services, research to support disease prognosis and treatment decisions, and local and national strategies for enhanced caregiver support.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Caregivers*
  • Humans
  • Lewy Body Disease* / therapy
  • Spouses
  • Surveys and Questionnaires