Towards Consensus on Essential Components of Physical Examination in Primary Care-based Memory Clinics*

George A. Heckman, Bryan B. Franco, Linda Lee, Loretta Hillier, Veronique Boscart, Paul Stolee, Lauren Crutchlow, Joel A. Dubin, Frank Molnar, Dallas Seitz



Primary care-based memory clinics were established to meet the needs of persons with memory concerns. We aimed to identify: 1) physical examination maneuvers required to assess persons with possible dementia in specialist-supported primary care-based memory clinics, and 2) the best-suited clinicians to perform these maneuvers in this setting.


We distributed in-person and online surveys of clinicians in a network of 67 primary care-based memory clinics in Ontario, Canada.


90 surveys were completed for an overall response rate of 66.7%. Assessments of vital signs, gait, and for features of Parkinsonism were identified as essential by most respondents. There was little consensus on which clinician should be responsible for specific physical examination maneuvers.


While we identified specific physical examination maneuvers deemed by providers to be both necessary and feasible to perform in the context of primary care-based memory clinics, further research is needed to clarify interprofessional roles related to the examination.


dementia; assessment; interprofessional; consensus; examination

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ISSN: 1925-8348 (Online)