An investigation into the perceived value of an early dementia diagnosis from the perspective of general practitioners and members of the lay public

Grace, Lydia

September 2014

Thesis or dissertation

© 2014 Lydia Grace. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the written permission of the copyright holder.

The following studies investigate possible factors underlying the variance in dementia diagnosis rates between Hull, East Riding and Sheffield PCT. The first study utilised qualitative approaches to explore the perceived importance of an early dementia diagnosis by GPs practicing in Hull and East Riding PCT. Although GPs were committed to early diagnosis, they identified key barriers including lack of time, inadequate cognitive assessments, limited access to specialists and negative perceptions of treatment efficiency. GP views did not differ significantly between the two areas, but access to post-diagnostic services was reported to be significantly more limited within East Riding. The perceived inadequacy and difficulty accessing such services often resulted in scepticism regarding the value of a diagnosis. It was therefore concluded that in order for GP perceptions to improve the benefits of diagnosis need to increase, mainly regarding post-diagnosis services. The second study used questionnaire data to explore and compare knowledge and perceptions of dementia in the general public of Hull and Sheffield. Although dementia knowledge was poor across both groups, this was particularly evident from the Hull group, which could act as an underlying factor behind their lower diagnosis rates. Poor dementia knowledge was particularly evident regarding at risk groups, identifying the full range of dementia symptoms and differentiating dementia from normal ageing. The present studies highlight the need for improved availability and adequacy of patient services and increased public education of dementia and also offer valuable insights in to potential methods of improving local dementia diagnosis rates.

Department of Psychology, The University of Hull
McGeown, William J. (William Jonathan)
Sponsor (Organisation)
NHS Hull
Qualification level
Qualification name
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