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UK 'attaching more of a stigma to dementia than US'

UK 'attaching more of a stigma to dementia than US'
19th January 2009

Adults in the UK are less willing to undergo dementia screening than those in the US as Britons attach more of a societal stigma from diagnosis of the illness, a new study has revealed.

Researchers from Indiana University in the US and the universities of Kent and London in the UK surveyed 125 older adults in Indianapolis and 120 older adults in Kent, none of who had been diagnosed with the illness.

They were asked for their opinions on the benefits and harms of dementia screening, with Britons attaching more of a stigma to diagnosis, relating it to the possible loss of independence.

Chris Fox, from the University of Kent and who led the British researchers, said that "this study gives us an initial awareness so that we can develop improved care pathways".

"We hope the United Kingdom's Dementia Strategy ... will consider some of this study's findings."

The University of Kent was rated at 24th out of 118 participating institutions in the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise in terms of the best or four-star research.

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