A study investigated the traits and characteristics of patients who screened positive for dementia (in a USA primary care context) but who refused a formal a diagnostic assessment. The Perceptions Regarding Investigational Screening for Memory in Primary Care (PRISM-PC) questionnaire was used to measure the characteristics of these patients. Out of 554 individuals who completed the PRISM-PC questionnaire, 63 screened positive for dementia; of whom 21 (33%) accepted and 42 (67%) refused a diagnostic assessment.
This relatively small-scale USA-based research indicates that a large proportion of patients may be inclined to refuse a diagnostic assessment. Factors including living alone and the perceived stigma of dementia appear to be associated with refusing a diagnostic assessment for dementia. It is unclear to what extent these findings may be generalisable internationally and across different cultures; for example research may be required to assess the applicability (rightly or wrongly) of similar attitudes and traits in a UK context.
Fowler, NR. Frame, A. [and] Perkins, AJ. [et al] (2015). Traits of patients who screen positive for dementia and refuse diagnostic assessment. Alzheimer’s and Dementia: Diagnosis, Assessment and Disease Monitoring, 2015, Vol.1(2), pp.236-241. (Click here to view the PubMed abstract).