A new research survey has been launched that will take a snapshot of public attitudes to dementia. Led by researchers at the University of West of England, the survey is supported by the Dementia Health Integration Team at Bristol Health Partners. The new survey aims to find out about people’s awareness of, and concerns about dementia as well as their attitudes towards people who have the condition.
The survey is a follow up to a previous survey conducted in 2013,1 which found, for example, that younger people held more positive attitudes toward dementia than older people, and that those people with personal experience of dementia held more positive attitudes than those who had no experience of dementia. The new 2018 survey aims to deepen understanding about attitudes to dementia and to see how attitudes may have changed over the past five years. The survey will use the same questionnaire that was used in 2013, but in addition will also explore the extent to which respondents are willing to engage with people with dementia in their neighbourhood. Finally, the study will continue a programme of research exploring how attitudes towards dementia are influenced by the psychological threat that it presents.
Lead researcher Professor Richard Cheston said:
“This is an exciting research study that will help us to understand more about attitudes towards people with dementia locally, and to see whether this has changed in the last five years. It will also help us to understand what we need to do to make Bristol a dementia-friendly city.”
The survey is funded by a grant from Alzheimer’s Research UK.
Dr Laura Phipps, Head of Communications at Alzheimer’s Research UK, said:
“There is still a certain amount of stigma surrounding dementia, often driven by persistent misconceptions about what causes it and how it affects people.
“In recent years, dementia has been gaining more public attention and we hope this has sparked a greater understanding of the condition and the experiences of people living with dementia.
“By following up on a survey of public attitudes to dementia from five years ago, this research will provide valuable insight into changing perceptions around our greatest medical challenge. Alzheimer’s Research UK is pleased to be supporting this important work.”
The survey can be accessed online for free from laptops and tablets and will remain open until the end of March 2019.