What does the general public understand about prevention and treatment of dementia? A systematic review of population-based surveys

Monica Cations, Gorjana Radisic, Maria Crotty, Kate E. Laver

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

124 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives: To synthesise results of population surveys assessing knowledge and attitudes about prevention and treatment of dementia. Methods: MEDLINE, EMBASE, PsycINFO, and grey literature were searched for English language entries published between 2012 and May 2017. Survey questions were grouped using an inductive approach and responses were pooled. Results: Thirty-four eligible studies and four grey literature items were identified. Surveys were conducted in Europe, the US, Eastern Asia, Israel, and Australia. Nearly half of respondents agreed that dementia is a normal and non-preventable part of ageing, but belief in the potential for prevention may be improving over time. The role of cardiovascular risk factors was poorly understood overall. Less than half of respondents reported belief in the availability of a cure for dementia. The value of seeking treatment was highly endorsed. Conclusions: Results suggest that knowledge about the potential for dementia prevention and treatment remains poor but may be improving over time. Knowledge among those living in low- and middle-income countries are largely unknown, presenting challenges for the development of National action plans consistent with World Health Organization directives.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0196085
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished or Issued - 1 Apr 2018
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)

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