Help-seeking in relation to signs of dementia: A pilot study to evaluate the utility of the common-sense model of illness representations

Hamilton-West, Kate E. and Milne, Alisoun (2010) Help-seeking in relation to signs of dementia: A pilot study to evaluate the utility of the common-sense model of illness representations. Psychology, Health & Medicine, 15 (5). pp. 540-549. ISSN 1354-8506. (The full text of this publication is not available from this repository)

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Official URL
http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13548506.2010.487109

Abstract

Despite the importance of early diagnosis of dementia, little is known about the factors underlying help-seeking in relation to signs of the condition. In this pilot study we aimed to examine the potential utility of the Common Sense Model (CSM) of illness representations for understanding lay perceptions of dementia and predicting intentions to seek help in relation to possible signs and symptoms. A secondary aim was to develop a measure of (dementia-related) illness representations as a tool for future research. After reading a vignette describing a ‘relative’ with mild or moderate dementia, participants (N=118) completed measures of illness representations and help-seeking intentions. Analyses compared perceptions of the mild and moderate vignettes and determined the extent to which illness perceptions differentiated between alternative forms of help-seeking (e.g. seeking professional help vs. help from family members). Results indicated that cognitive deficits were more readily identified as dementia than non-cognitive symptoms; these were commonly attributed to stress or depression. Participants were more likely to indicate an intention to seek professional help if they identified the problem in the vignette as dementia, perceived symptoms as severe, as having serious consequences and as likely to be permanent, but less likely to do so if they identified the problem as stress or attributed symptoms to psychological causes. Our preliminary data suggests that help-seeking may be prevented by inaccurate illness representations or misattribution of symptoms. The CSM may provide a useful framework for understanding perceptions of dementia symptoms and for informing help-seeking pathways.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled keywords: dementia, help-seeking, illness representations, common sense model, self-regulatory model
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Psychology
Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Social Policy Sociology and Social Research > Centre for Health Services Studies
Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Social Policy Sociology and Social Research > Tizard
Depositing User: Kate Hamilton-West
Date Deposited: 13 Sep 2010 13:00
Last Modified: 27 Jun 2014 08:30
Resource URI: http://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/25502 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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