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Clinical practice guidelines for dementia in Australia

Dementia is a National Health Priority Area in Australia. As our population ages, the number of people with dementia will increase.1 People with dementia have deficits in one or more of the areas of memory, communication, attention, thinking and judgement.2

The quality of clinical practice in dementia care in Australia is variable. The availability of high-quality services to support workforce training, diagnosis and ongoing care, advance care planning and support for families to provide care is inconsistent.

Clinical practice guidelines can improve uptake of research findings by identifying, synthesising and disseminating evidence to clinicians.3 Most importantly, adherence to clinical practice guidelines can improve the quality and consistency of care.4

The National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Partnership Centre for Dealing with Cognitive and Related Functional Decline in Older People was established in 2013 with funding support from the NHMRC, HammondCare, Alzheimer’s Australia, Brightwater Care Group and Helping Hand Aged Care. One of the activities of the Partnership Centre was to develop Australian clinical practice guidelines for dementia. The guidelines were adapted from existing guidelines5 using ADAPTE methodology