An exploration of the factors influencing patient and family initial attendance at memory screening clinics: an interpretative phenomenological analysis

Young, Melanie Louise (2016) An exploration of the factors influencing patient and family initial attendance at memory screening clinics: an interpretative phenomenological analysis. D Clin Psy thesis, University of Glasgow.

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Abstract

Background: There is a national drive to provide early dementia diagnoses. Patient and family attributions at symptom onset contribute to significant help-seeking delays. Most qualitative studies have interpreted retrospective accounts of the pre-diagnostic period. However, experiential attributions are demonstrated to change over time. Few studies have sought patient and family dyad perspectives prior to diagnosis.

Aim: This qualitative study sought to explore patient and family experiences of early cognitive decline and help-seeking during the pre-diagnostic stage.

Method: Five patient and familial dyads were interviewed separately to explore their experiences of early stage cognitive decline and help-seeking decisions. Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis was employed to identify emerging themes.

Results: Five super-ordinate themes were identified: The inevitability of ageing; problem awareness; living with forgetting; disclosure to others; and how am I going to be today?

Conclusions: Patient and family dyads have early insight into symptom onset. Before diagnosis, attributions towards ageing, co-morbid illness and contextual factors limit concern. Help-seeking was precipitated by functional decline exposing the individual to potential risks. Health services were a source of reassurance, particularly when there was a lack of social supports available. Improvements in public awareness of symptoms, assessment and available care for dementia may encourage earlier help seeking.

Item Type: Thesis (D Clin Psy)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: Dementia, patient, family, dyad, help-seeking, experience, qualitative, IPA.
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Colleges/Schools: College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Health and Wellbeing > Mental Health and Wellbeing
Supervisor's Name: Jackson, Dr. Alison
Date of Award: 2016
Depositing User: Mrs Melanie Louise Young
Unique ID: glathesis:2016-7187
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 15 Apr 2016 07:23
Last Modified: 28 Apr 2016 12:03
URI: http://theses.gla.ac.uk/id/eprint/7187

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