Acceptability of dementia screening in primary care patients

Int J Geriatr Psychiatry. 2011 Apr;26(4):373-9. doi: 10.1002/gps.2536. Epub 2010 Sep 15.


Objectives: To determine the acceptability of dementia screening in two populations of older adults in different primary care settings.

Methods: Cross-sectional study of consecutive patients presenting for primary care appointments in the Duke University Health System (n = 152) or Durham VA Medical Center (n = 193) were evaluated face to face using the Dementia Screening and Perceived Harms (SAPH) questionnaire.

Results: Overall, 81% of primary care patients indicated that they would want to be screened to determine if they are developing dementia. After exposure to possible risks and benefits of screening, 86% of patients indicated they would like to be screened. The SAPH was easy to use and contained five relevant and cohesive domains. The items most associated with a desire for dementia screening were male gender, acceptance of other types of screening, and a belief that a treatment for dementia exists.

Conclusions: Primary care patients in two different health care systems indicated they would like to be screened for dementia. The SAPH was easy to use and contains cohesive domains.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Attitude to Health
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Dementia / diagnosis*
  • Dementia / psychology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Mass Screening / psychology*
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care / psychology*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires