Current treatments of Alzheimer disease: are main caregivers satisfied with the drug treatments received by their patients?Dement Geriatr Cogn Disord. 2009; 28(3):196-205.DG
A full comparison of the satisfaction with treatment using the current Alzheimer's disease (AD) therapies from the perspective of caregivers has not yet been done. The aim of this study was thus to find out the degree of satisfaction with the main available drug treatments in monotherapy for AD from this point of view.
A cross-sectional, multicentre study of patients with possible/probable AD according to DSM-IV/NINCDS-ADRDA criteria, on monotherapy with donepezil, galantamine, rivastigmine or memantine, was carried out. Treatment satisfaction was measured by a caregiver proxy-administration of the generic SATMED-Q questionnaire [range: 0 (not satisfied at all) to 100 (totally satisfied)], overall and in 6 domains: tolerability, efficacy, medical care, ease and convenience, impact on daily activities and overall satisfaction.
A total of 829 patients were included: 63.3% women, aged 78.2 +/- 6.8 years; 546 (67.3%) on donepezil, 106 (13.1%) on rivastigmine, 99 (12.2%) on galantamine and 60 (7.4%) on memantine. SATMED-Q scores p values were adjusted by MMSE and treatment duration. Caregivers of patients on donepezil showed significantly higher SATMED-Q total (71.8 +/- 12.3; p < 0.05) and overall satisfaction domain scores (81.6 +/- 18.4; p < 0.01) than those of patients on any other drugs, as well as significantly higher ease and convenience of use domain (81.5 +/- 17.4; p < 0.01) and undesirable effects domain (96.0 +/- 12.9; p < 0.05) scores than those of rivastigmine- and galantamine-treated patients. Of the caregivers of donepezil-treated patients, 76.7% were satisfied with treatment versus 68.7, 61.4 and 46.7% of those caregivers whose patients were treated with galantamine, rivastigmine and memantine, respectively (p = 0.0002).
Caregivers of AD patients undergoing donepezil monotherapy seem to be more satisfied with treatment than those of patients receiving the other usual AD treatments in this study, particularly due to the ease and convenience of use of this drug. The higher level of satisfaction of these caregivers could be explained by the fact that, within the donepezil group, a high percentage of patients were treated with orally disintegrating tablets, which are easier for the patient to swallow.