To what extent do geriatricians document the most bothersome symptoms of patients with advanced dementia?

Stephanie L. Garrett, Déon Cox-Hayley, Gavin W. Hougham, Greg A. Sachs

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

3 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVES: To assess whether geriatricians documented the bothersome symptoms of patients with advanced dementia, proxy reports of the most-bothersome symptoms affecting those patients (as elicited in research interviews) were compared with what geriatricians who had seen those patients in a proximate clinic visit documented in the medical record. DESIGN: Retrospective chart review. SETTING: Outpatient geriatrics clinic at the University of Chicago. PARTICPANTS: Fifty-seven pairs of patients with dementia (Functional Assessment Staging Tool stage 6 or 7) and their proxies. MEASUREMENTS: Clinic notes were reviewed for documentation of patients' bothersome symptoms that proxies reported during research interviews. Proxy reports had been recorded in the previously established Palliative Excellence in Alzheimer Care Efforts database. RESULTS: The most-bothersome symptom was documented at least once in 84.2% (48/57) of clinic notes. The second-most-bothersome symptom was documented in 70.3% (26/37) of clinic notes. Most symptoms were documented in the Assessment and Plan section of the note. CONCLUSION: Geriatricians identified and documented the vast majority of bothersome symptoms, as reported by proxies, of patients with moderate to severe dementia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1563-1566
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of the American Geriatrics Society
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Chart documentation
  • Communication
  • Dementia
  • Symptom management

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geriatrics and Gerontology

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