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How people come to recognise a problem and seek medical help for a person showing early signs of dementia: a systematic review and meta-ethnography

Perry-Young, Lucy; Owen, Gareth; Kelly, Susan; Owens, Christabel

Authors

Lucy Perry-Young lucy.perry-young@nottingham.ac.uk

Gareth Owen

Susan Kelly

Christabel Owens



Abstract

Evidence suggests that there is usually a long delay between noticing first signs of dementia and seeking medical help. We conducted a systematic review of what people experience and how they make decisions during this time, and used a meta-ethnographic approach to synthesise the findings. Screening and quality assessment resulted in nine studies eligible for inclusion. People with dementia mainly report experiencing memory lapses, while carers focus on more subtle changes in personality. People respond to these changes in one of three ways: 1) they discount them as normal; 2) they reserve judgement as to their cause and significance, or 3) they misattribute them. Pivotal events can finally trigger help seeking. Active reflection and seeking of further evidence may lead to earlier recognition of the possibility of dementia and the need to seek help; it also reduces the risk of a pivotal event. Public education should aim to improve recognition of more subtle signs and to encourage repeated evaluation and reflection.

Citation

Perry-Young, L., Owen, G., Kelly, S., & Owens, C. (2016). How people come to recognise a problem and seek medical help for a person showing early signs of dementia: a systematic review and meta-ethnography. Dementia, doi:10.1177/1471301215626889

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Jan 12, 2016
Deposit Date Jan 28, 2016
Publicly Available Date Jan 28, 2016
Journal Dementia
Print ISSN 1471-3012
Electronic ISSN 1741-2684
Publisher SAGE Publications (UK and US)
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
DOI https://doi.org/10.1177/1471301215626889
Keywords Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, help-seeking behaviour, illness behaviour, meta-ethnography
Public URL http://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/id/eprint/31394
Publisher URL http://dem.sagepub.com/content/early/2016/01/12/1471301215626889.full.pdf+html
Copyright Statement Copyright information regarding this work can be found at the following address: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0

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Copyright Statement
Copyright information regarding this work can be found at the following address: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0





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