The high prevalence of dementia and the increased availability of treatments for Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias have increased the need to find optimal approaches to disclosing the diagnosis of dementia. In this article, relevant research is reviewed on physician practices and perspectives, and on older patients’ and family members’ preferences. Research suggests that, in general, patients and families want an accurate and clearly explained diagnosis, and that they desire guidance from the physician in understanding the course of the illness over time as well as resources that will help them to cope. Considerations in disclosing a dementia diagnosis and recommendations on how to disclose a dementia diagnosis are offered.
Key words: dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, disclosure, physicians, diagnosis.