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Opinion Survey Shows Lengthy Neurological Diagnosis Delay May Impact Patients

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An opinion survey, commissioned by GE Healthcare and conducted by Praxis, a global healthcare research company, has highlighted the perceived patient impact of delaying the diagnosis of a neurological disorder as part of the burden healthcare systems around the world are facing in light of an ageing population. A larger version of the infographic can be found here

An opinion survey, commissioned by GE Healthcare and conducted by Praxis, a global healthcare research company, has highlighted the patient impact of delaying the diagnosis of a neurological disorder as part of the burden healthcare systems around the world are facing in light of an ageing population.

The survey reflects opinions of physicians and patients in the US, UK, Germany and France. A total of 240 physicians, consisting of hospital and office-based neurologists and psychiatrists (UK-only) participated. A total of 101 patients with Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease or Alzheimer’s disease participated.

Worldwide, it is reckoned that 35.6 million people have dementia with 7.7 million new cases recorded each year. The total number of people with dementia is projected to almost double every 20 years, to 65.7 million in 2030 and 115.4 million in 2050.*

These numbers, translated to total global societal costs have been estimated at US$ 604 billion. This corresponds to 1.0% of the worldwide gross domestic product (GDP), or 0.6% if only direct costs are considered. The total cost as a proportion of GDP varied from 0.24% in low-income countries to 1.24% in high-income countries.*

GE Healthcare’s opinion survey examined the impact of diagnosis delays in the most prominent neurological disorders: Alzheimer’s (AD), Parkinson’s (PD) and Multiple Sclerosis (MS).

According to the survey, median times in patient estimates of time to diagnosis from onset of symptoms were seven to 12 months across all disease states. AD was diagnosed fastest, on average (12.7 months), followed by MS (13.6 months) and PD (14.7 months).

This time included the time that patients waited (from less than a week to more than a year) before consulting a physician. Physicians who participated in the survey said approximately a third of patients could or should have been diagnosed faster and may suffer unnecessarily as a result of delay.

The survey was conducted with secondary care physicians and patients across UK, Germany, France, and USA, where the majority of patients presented to a GP rather than to a specialist. This was particularly evident in the UK, where 88% visited a GP as their visit. In the US 30% of patients went to a specialist first.

The findings place emphasis on the development and improved patient accessibility of early, accurate diagnostic tools as a response to the time it takes for dementia patients to be diagnosed. These delays are perceived to have a profound effect with progressive diseases such as AD, PD and MS, as every day of treatment is important in managing the degree of symptoms and the patients overall quality of life.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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* – www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs362/en/