Comparing a Single Clinician Versus a Multidisciplinary Consensus Conference Approach for Dementia Diagnostics

Gorm Thorlacius-Ussing*, Marie Bruun, Le Gjerum, Kristian S. Frederiksen, Hanneke F. M. Rhodius-Meester, Wiesje M. van der Flier, Gunhild Waldemar, Steen G. Hasselbalch, Flavio Nobili

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Background: Evidence-based recommendations on the optimal evaluation approach for dementia diagnostics are limited. This impedes a harmonized workup across clinics and nations. Objective: To evaluate the diagnostic performance of a multidisciplinary consensus conference compared to a single clinician approach. Methods: In this prospective study, we enrolled 457 patients with suspected cognitive decline, from two European memory clinics. A diagnostic evaluation was performed at baseline independently in two ways: 1) by a single clinician and 2) at a multidisciplinary consensus conference. A syndrome diagnosis and an etiological diagnosis was made. The confidence in the diagnosis was recorded using a visual analogue scale. An expert panel re-evaluation diagnosis served as reference for the baseline syndrome diagnosis and a 12-24-month follow-up diagnosis for the etiological diagnosis. Results: 439 patients completed the study. We observed 12.5%discrepancy (k=0.81) comparing the baseline syndrome diagnoses of the single clinician to the consensus conference, and 22.3%discrepancy (k=0.68) for the baseline etiological diagnosis. The accuracy of the baseline etiological diagnosis was significantly higher at the consensus conference and was driven mainly by increased accuracy in the MCI group. Confidence in the etiological diagnosis at baseline was significantly higher at the consensus conference (p<0.005), especially for the frontotemporal dementia diagnosis. Conclusion: The multidisciplinary consensus conference performed better on diagnostic accuracy of disease etiology and increased clinicians' confidence. This highlights the importance of a multidisciplinary diagnostic evaluation approach for dementia diagnostics, especially when evaluating patients in the MCI stage.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)741-751
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Alzheimer's Disease
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2021

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