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Targets for dementia diagnoses will lead to overdiagnosis

BMJ 2014; 348 doi: (Published 01 April 2014) Cite this as: BMJ 2014;348:g2224

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Re: Targets for dementia diagnoses will lead to overdiagnosis

It was so refreshing to read Martin Brunet's article on Targets for Dementia diagnoses, but alarming to discover that they may well be the hidden or not so hidden financial agenda behind a GP's questioning of their elderly patients. If I am asked to name the Prime Minister, I am now primed to reply 'Disraeli', and see what happens!

I recently had a hearing aid assessment. Part of this was a question as to whether I felt isolated. It felt as if this was part of an algorithm check list, not a sensitive personal enquiry. By the end, the questioning, done almost by rote, left me feeling like a child. There had been no apparent attempt to intuitively sense whether this approach was appropriate in my particular case.

Martin Brunet's article was a most welcome warning to be on the alert for intrusive target-questioning when visiting a GP for those precious (to the patient) ten minutes of his time.

Competing interests: I am aged 77 and therefore at risk of an unsolicited GP Dementia assessment.

21 April 2014
Christopher H Maycock
Retired GP
The Court, Neopardy, Crediton, Devon. EX17 5EP