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Understandings of mild cognitive impairment (MCI): a survey study of public and professional perspectives

Heather Yemm (Helen McArdle Nursing and Care Research Institute, University of Sunderland, Sunderland, UK and the Association for Dementia Studies, University of Worcester, Worcester, UK)
Elizabeth Peel (Department of Social Sciences, Loughborough University, Loughborough, UK)
Dawn Brooker (Helen McArdle Nursing and Care Research Institute, University of Sunderland, Sunderland, UK and the Association for Dementia Studies, University of Worcester, Worcester, UK)

Working with Older People

ISSN: 1366-3666

Article publication date: 2 November 2022

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Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to report the findings of a survey study exploring perceptions about cognitive impairment. These findings are relevant to public health campaigns and education programmes.

Design/methodology/approach

A survey exploring respondents’ views and knowledge about mild cognitive impairment (MCI) was circulated via UK networks. A total of 417 respondents completed the survey, including people living with cognitive impairment (n = 10), care partners (n = 23), older adults (n = 83), younger adults (n = 83), general health-care professionals (n = 96), dementia specialist health-care professionals (n = 48) and dementia specialists (n = 40).

Findings

Respondents were more confident in their knowledge about dementia than cognitive impairment but wanted more information about both conditions. Younger adults were uncertain about many aspects of MCI, and were the most likely to view MCI as a normal part of ageing. Diet (45.1%, n = 188) and personal behaviour (63.8%, n = 266) were the least endorsed possible causes of MCI, suggesting a lack of awareness of lifestyle choices as risk factors for MCI.

Originality/value

The results highlight the need to provide education and awareness raising about MCI to enable people to seek help in a timely manner and be able to make informed lifestyle choices that may reduce their risk of MCI and dementia. Implementing education about MCI and dementia in schools is a key target, as younger people were the most uncertain or misinformed about these topics. It is clear that further public health initiatives around MCI are both warranted and welcomed by the general public.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors would like to extend their gratitude to all the respondents who kindly took part in this study.

Citation

Yemm, H., Peel, E. and Brooker, D. (2022), "Understandings of mild cognitive impairment (MCI): a survey study of public and professional perspectives", Working with Older People, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/WWOP-08-2022-0035

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2022, Emerald Publishing Limited

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