Purpose: Veterans with dementia and their caregivers in remote areas may not have access to specialists to provide diagnosis, treatment, and education. The purpose of this clinical demonstration project was to examine the feasibility, acceptability, and impact of a video consultations clinic for veterans with dementia or memory complaints and their caregivers. Methods: The dementia clinical video telehealth (CVT) consultation clinic was established to identify, diagnose, and treat dementia in veterans at sites distant from the main medical center. A geriatrician at the main facility provided video consultation to patients and caregivers at seven satellite facilities. Diagnoses made and services provided were recorded after the initial consultation. Patient and caregiver satisfaction with the CVT clinic were assessed. Findings: Ninety-four patients were evaluated in the CVT dementia clinic (average age = 74.7; average Mini-Mental State Exam = 24.4). Forty patients had a prior dementia diagnosis, 15 received a new dementia diagnosis, and 20 a new mild cognitive impairment diagnosis. Of the remaining patients evaluated for memory complaints, seven were found to have depression, three had hearing loss, and three had traumatic brain injury. After CVT consultation, common referrals included social work (n = 43), neuropsychology (n = 36), and brain imaging (n = 26). Patients and caregivers expressed high satisfaction with the video consultation and 90% of caregivers indicated they would rather use CVT than travel to see the specialist in person. Conclusions: Video consultation was well accepted by both dementia patients and caregivers. CVT may facilitate timely diagnosis and management and provide support for rural dementia patients and caregivers.
- access to care
- clinical video telehealth
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Health Informatics
- Health Information Management