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Patient's age affects dementia screening willingness

Patient's age affects dementia screening willingness
20th June 2012

The age a person is when asked to undergo screening for dementia affects their willingness to do so, according to researchers.

In the first study of its kind, a team of scientists found that while the acceptance of screening is pervasive, willingness to be tested for dementia varies by age.

Some 554 people between the ages of 65 and 90 participated in the investigation and it was found refusal rates were higher among patients aged between 70 and 79.

Those in the 65 to 69 age bracket were also found to be the most willing to be tested. However, sex, race and income level were identified as having no effect.

Furthermore, a correlation was found between those who indicated a stronger agreement to statements about the benefits of knowing about dementia earlier and the willingness to accept screening.

The study raises speculation as to whether attitudes to testing are related to perceptions of risk and preventability, as younger participants with lower risk that were likely to catch the condition early were more willing to be screened.

Find out about dementia care and support services at Barchester care homes.