The aim of the study is to evaluate the burden of dementia, by estimating the use of health care services over time and identifying the key factors which are driving this. In addition, we want to characterize determinants of burden of carers, and safety-i ssues related to the use of psychotropic drugs in people with dementia.A critical challenge will be to measure municipal health-costs in a reliable way. In collaboration with the health-administration in the municipalities in the study area, we will admi nister a detailed questionnaire assessing the use of municipal health and care-services, enabling us to retrieve detailed, reliable and complete information about the use of health care services and the evolving costs. In addition, a qualitative interview of a representative group of carers will be performed for in-depth knowledge about how the health-care system is perceived. In order to provide valid data, and to identify the development of health-care use over the disease course as well as to identif y the cost-driving factors, a large and representative patient group of people with dementia will have to be followed longitudinally. To this end, the project is based on the DemVest cohort, consisting of 250 home-dwelling patients with mild dementia fol lowed prospectively from diagnosis with annual assessments including carer burden, drug-use, and use of health-care services over 10 years starting in 2005.The results from this project promises to provide key knowledge about strengths and limitations of the health-care system for home-dwelling people with dementia and their family carers. Such knowledge is critical in order to improve quality and cost-efficiency of the organization and delivery of health-care services for people with dementia.
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