A systematic review of the quality of studies on dementia prevalence in Italy

Gianluca Bruti, Elisabetta Cavallucci, Michele Mancini, Alessandro Bitossi, Marzia Baldereschi, Sandro Sorbi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Background: Dementia, including Alzheimer's disease (AD), is one of the most burdensome medical conditions. In order to better understand the epidemiology of dementia in Italy, we conducted a systematic search of studies published between 1980 and April 2014 investigating the prevalence of dementia and AD in Italy and then evaluated the quality of the selected studies. Methods: A systematic search was performed using PubMed/Medline and Embase to identify Italian population-based studies on the prevalence of dementia among people aged ≥60 years. The quality of the studies was scored according to Alzheimer's Disease International (ADI) criteria. Results: Sixteen articles on the prevalence of dementia and AD in Italy were eligible and 75 % of them were published before the year 2000. Only one study was a national survey, whereas most of the studies were locally based (Northern Italy and Tuscany). Overall, the 16 studies were attributed a mean ADI quality score of 7.6 (median 7.75). Conclusions: Available studies on the prevalence of dementia and AD in Italy are generally old, of weak quality, and do not include all regions of Italy. The important limitations of the few eligible studies included in our analysis, mostly related to their heterogeneous design, make our systematic review difficult to interpret from an epidemiologic point of view. Full implementation of a Dementia National Plan is highly needed to better understand the epidemiology of the disease and monitor dementia patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalBMC Health Services Research
Volume16
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 26 2016

Keywords

  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Dementia
  • Epidemiology
  • Italy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy

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