Diagnosing dementia: a comparison between a monodisciplinary and a multidisciplinary approach

J Neuropsychiatry Clin Neurosci. 1993 Winter;5(1):78-85. doi: 10.1176/jnp.5.1.78.


Discrepancies were examined in diagnostic outcome between a monodisciplinary approach and a multidisciplinary, criteria-based approach in patients referred to a university memory clinic. Of 278 patients not fulfilling dementia criteria, 19 had been previously diagnosed as demented (specificity: 0.93). In 60 of 152 demented patients, dementia had not been diagnosed before (sensitivity: 0.61). Underreporting was frequent for mildly demented patients and for patients with coexisting depressive symptoms. In patients referred by psychiatrists, sensitivity rates for dementia and Alzheimer's disease were low; in patients referred by neurologists, depression often went unreported. Results underscore the need for more frequent use of integrated multidisciplinary services for cognitively disturbed patients.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Alzheimer Disease / diagnosis*
  • Dementia / classification
  • Dementia / diagnosis*
  • Depressive Disorder / diagnosis
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prevalence
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales