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Recognising dementia

Case study: The ReCognition programme aims to strengthen the link between primary and secondary care and enhance primary care physicians' understanding of Alzheimer's disease

Alzheimer's disease (AD) is the most common form of dementia, affecting an estimated 820,000 people in the UK and costing £23bn annually. Research shows that primary care physicians have a limited understanding of AD. Pfizer and Eisai identified the need to enhance primary care physicians' understanding of the disease and developed the ReCognition programme. Delivered through a series of interactive meetings, ReCognition aims to strengthen the link between primary and secondary care and enhance primary care physicians' understanding of AD. Evaluation showed all those attending standalone meetings felt more confident in recognising and referring patients with potential AD.

ReCognition engages GPs
ReCognition engages Doncaster's GP population – part of a series of interactive meetings run by consultants.

Challenge
AD is the most common form of dementia, affecting nearly 450,000 people in the UK. It is a progressive and terminal disease for which there is currently no cure.

Market research, conducted on primary care physicians' diagnosis and treatment of AD, along with advisory board findings, showed they:

• Do not consider memory problems as 'real problems'
• Have limited understanding of the consequences of not identifying people with probable AD
• Do not know who to refer to in their area
• Require guidance on appropriate referral/treatment based on observed symptoms
• Are frustrated by the (perceived) lack of benefit of AD treatment.

Solution
Pfizer and Eisai worked with leading European health professionals to develop ReCognition, an educational programme designed to increase knowledge of AD in primary care. ReCognition focuses on:

• Establishing local referral networks of secondary and primary care physicians
• Enabling primary care physicians to manage AD patients more confidently through support from motivated specialists, ensuring timely recognition and referral
• Enabling specialists to engage and support primary care physicians in the long-term management of patients with AD through support, educational materials and skills development.

ReCognition was delivered as a series of interactive presentation meetings, run by a local secondary care consultant and attended by groups of primary care professionals. These sessions were organised as both standalone meetings and also through engaging primary care trusts (PCTs), who ran educational meetings as part of their own protected learning time.

Results
ReCognition has enabled GPs to become more confident in diagnosing AD, resulting in improved levels of patient care. In the post-meeting evaluation of standalone meetings, 100 per cent of delegates confirmed they feel more confident in recognising and referring patients with potential AD. In September 2010, Doncaster PCT ran two sessions for all their GPs. Evaluation showed that 92 per cent of the 175 GPs will be better able to recognise and diagnosis AD as a result of the training.

Client verdict
"The ReCognition programme has enabled us to start improving the outlook for patients by improving the primary-secondary care interface and enhancing the knowledge of care 'gatekeepers' – GPs. When it comes to assessing the quality of this medical education initiative, the evaluation results speak for themselves."
Country brand leader, Pfizer

"The programme has had remarkable reach and uptake – in one case engaging the GP population of an entire PCT. 90TEN have been invaluable to ReCognition's success by efficiently facilitating each element of roll-out and by employing their targeted approach to gain support from both health professionals and PCT educational directors."
UK brand team manager, Eisai Ltd
 

Case study details

Client: Pfizer and Eisai
Agency: 90TEN
Campaign: ReCognition
Timescale: 2009 to present

20th June 2011

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