Dementia attitudes and help-seeking intentions: an investigation of responses to two scenarios of an experience of the early signs of dementia
Objectives: To investigate associations between dementia-attitudes and help-seeking intentions. Method: An online survey of 611 Australian adults (45-60 years) assessed dementia-related attitudes and help-seeking intentions in response to two scenarios of an experience of early dementia: for themselves (Scenario 1); and for a significant other (proxy help-seeking) (Scenario 2). Logistic regression models examined the relationship between four dementia-related attitudes (labelled Personal Avoidance, Fear of Labelling, Fear of Discrimination and Person Centredness) and help-seeking intentions. Results: Most participants indicated they would seek help from a general practitioner (GP) for themselves (82.2%) or for a proxy (78.7%) in response to the scenarios. Whilst only 7.2% indicated they would seek help from no-one, 21.3% would delay seeking help. In response to Scenario 1, Personal Avoidance and Fear of Labelling were associated with intentions to delay help-seeking. Fear of both Labelling and Discrimination were associated with intentions to seek help from no-one. In response to Scenario 2, Personal Avoidance was associated with intentions to delay proxy help-seeking and a reduced likelihood of seeking help by phone or and with Fear of Discrimination, via a GP. Fear of Labelling was also associated with an intention to delay proxy help-seeking. Conclusion: Efforts to improve help-seeking for dementia should address attitudes relating to stigma including negative labelling and a desire for the avoidance of people with dementia. Fears relating to discrimination indicate a need to build public confidence regarding the capacity of the health and workforce sectors to support people with dementia ethically and appropriately.
Please refer to publisher version or contact your library.