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Tijdschr Gerontol Geriatr. 1993 Oct;24(5):184-92.

[Public information on normal forgetfulness and dementia: effectiveness of a systematically developed information pamphlet].

[Article in Dutch]

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Vakgroep Gezondheidsvoorlichting (GVO), Rijksuniversiteit Limburg, Maastricht.


Previous research revealed that many elderly people are worried about their memory and are afraid of falling victim to dementia. An information brochure was developed in 1991 for this target group. After reading the brochure, 63% of all respondents who were worried about dementia beforehand (n = 307), said that their anxiety had decreased or disappeared. Approximately 3% of the total group of 400 respondents became more worried. A cognitive test battery was used to determine whether people's increased or decreased anxiety was justifiable. This test battery gave an indication of the severity of cognitive problems. A sample of 104 people was tested. Thirty subjects achieved a low test score and sixteen of them were inappropriately reassured by the brochure. Approximately 64% of fifty-four subjects who performed well on cognitive test and were worried about dementia beforehand, were rightly reassured, but the other 36% were (still) unnecessarily worried. The occurrence of dementia in a close relative covaried with worries about possible dementia in people with good test results. In conclusion, it appeared that an information brochure about normal forgetfulness and dementia may reduce the anxiety for dementia.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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