Skip to content

Patient and companion concerns when receiving a dementia diagnosis: An observational study of dementia diagnosis feedback meetings.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages24
JournalAgeing and Society
Early online date16 Apr 2018
DateAccepted/In press - 6 Feb 2018
DateE-pub ahead of print (current) - 16 Apr 2018


Receiving a diagnosis of dementia is a life-changing event and can cause strong emotional reactions. The aim of this study was to examine patient and companion concerns expressed during dementia diagnosis feedback meetings. Sixty consultations between 19 health-care professionals (HCPs), 60 patients and 59 companions were video-recorded and transcribed. Concerns were identified from the transcripts and were (a) content analysed, (b) coded as elicited by the HCP or volunteered by the patient or companion, and (c) coded according to whether the HCP encouraged or discouraged elaboration of the concern. A total of 249 concerns were identified (average four concerns per consultation). There were three areas of findings: (a) patients and companions were concerned about the symptoms of dementia and receiving a diagnosis; other concerns related to patients’ mental and physical health, and prognosis, (b) HCPs elicited more patient than companion concerns and mostly elicited concerns aligned with the agenda of diagnosis feedback, and (c) HCPs were more likely to encourage elaboration when they elicited the concern. Nearly 40 per cent of concerns were discouraged by the HPC changing topic, with concerns about prognosis most commonly discouraged. The findings suggest that there were a wide variety of concerns at dementia diagnosis, many extending beyond the experience of dementia symptoms. HCP avoidance of concerns about prognosis demonstrated delicacy in discussing the deteriorating course of dementia.

Download statistics

No data available



  • Full-text PDF (accepted author manuscript)

    Rights statement: This is the author accepted manuscript (AAM). The final published version (version of record) is available online via Cambridge University Press at Please refer to any applicable terms of use of the publisher.

    Accepted author manuscript, 414 KB, PDF document


View research connections

Related faculties, schools or groups