Assessing dementia risk in general practice: a qualitative study of the attitudes and views of patients and the public.
1 October 2015 to 30 September 2016
Project No: 261
Funding round: FR 9
Mental health PPI
In the United Kingdom (UK), there are over 800,000 people with dementia. Dementia has a huge impact on both families who live with the illness and our healthcare with care costs around £26 billion. England has recently introduced dementia ‘case finding’. This is where GPs or nurses ask people, who are at high risk of getting dementia whether they have symptoms of dementia. Some people are “at risk of dementia” because they have other health problems like Parkinson’s disease and diabetes or have had a stroke. This policy has been introduced with little testing. We do not know whether case finding:
i) is effective
ii) what patients and genera practice staff think about it and
iii) whether there are any harms or benefits.
We will seek the views of a range of people about case finding and methods such as computerised tools, of finding people who are at higher risk of dementia. We are particularly interested in the views of certain groups of people:
i) those at high risk of developing dementia (e.g family history, past stroke)
ii) those who had experienced case finding in primary care
iii) different ages and ethnic groups
We will tape the interviews and review them to see what is said and what issues come out.
We will combine our data with another study, submitted for SPCR FR9 funding and led by University College London (UCL), looking at the views of primary care professionals (GPs and practice nurses). We will then summarise our findings and feed these back to the Department of Health, Public Health England and voluntary organisations working with older people. Our findings will help improve the way we diagnose dementia and the support we provide after the diagnosis is made.