Post-diagnostic support for persons with young-onset dementia – a retrospective analysis based on data from the Swedish dementia registry SveDem
Artikel i vetenskaplig tidskrift, 2024

Background: Approximately 3.9 million persons worldwide have young-onset dementia. Symptoms related to young-onset dementia present distinct challenges related to finances, employment, and family. To provide tailored support, it is important to gain knowledge about the formal support available for persons with young-onset dementia. Therefore, this paper aims to describe formal support for persons with young-onset dementia in Sweden and the factors influencing this support. Methods: This retrospective study used data on persons under 65 years of age (n = 284) from The Swedish Registry for Cognitive/Dementia Disorders (SveDem) between 2021 and 2022. SveDem was established to monitor the quality of dementia care in Sweden. Characteristics of participants were obtained, including age, sex, dementia diagnosis, MMSE, medications, accommodation, and care setting. Descriptive statistics and logistic regression were used to test for associations between participant characteristics and post-diagnostic support. Results: Information and educational support were usually offered to the person with young-onset dementia (90.1%) and their family (78.9%). Approximately half of the sample were offered contact with a dementia nurse (49.3%), counsellor (51.4%), or needs assessor (47.9%). A minority (28.5%) were offered cognitive aids. Six regression models were conducted based on participant characteristics to predict the likelihood that persons were offered support. Support was not predicted by age, sex, children at home, accommodation, or medications. Lower MMSE scores (p <.05) and home help (p <.05) were significantly associated with offer of a needs assessor. Living together was a significant predictor (p <.01) for information and educational support offered to the family. Care setting significantly predicted (p <.01) an offer of information and educational support for the person and family members, as well as contact with a counsellor. Conclusion: This study indicates potential formal support shortages for persons with young-onset dementia in some areas of dementia care. Despite equal support across most characteristics, disparities based on care setting highlight the importance of specialised dementia care. Pre-diagnostic support is minimal, indicating challenges for persons with young-onset dementia to access these services before diagnosis. While our study has identified areas in need of improvement, we recommend further research to understand the changing support needs of those with young-onset dementia.


Formal support services

Dementia care

Quality registry

Early-onset dementia

Young-onset dementia

Memory clinics


Fanny Kårelind

Jönköping University

Deborah Finkel

Jönköping University

University of Southern California

Steven H. Zarit

Jönköping University

Pennsylvania State University

Helle Wijk

Chalmers, Arkitektur och samhällsbyggnadsteknik, Byggnadsdesign

Göteborgs universitet

Therese Bielsten

Jönköping University

Linda Johansson

Jönköping University

BMC Health Services Research

1472-6963 (eISSN)

Vol. 24 1 649







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