Intended for healthcare professionals

Letters Dementia debate

Asking older patients about their memory is simply practising evidence based medicine properly

BMJ 2013; 346 doi: (Published 03 May 2013) Cite this as: BMJ 2013;346:f2746
  1. David Oliver, consultant geriatrician1
  1. 1Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust, Reading, UK
  1. davidoliver372{at}

For two reasons I disagree with McCartney’s view that older patients admitted to hospital should not routinely be asked about their memory.1

Firstly, one in four hospital beds is occupied by a patient with dementia, yet around half have never been diagnosed before presenting, often in acute crisis and already fairly dependent; the dementia is …

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