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The views of public and clinician stakeholders on risk assessment tools for post-stroke dementia: A qualitative study

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Eugene TangORCiD, Professor Catherine Exley, Professor Christopher PriceORCiD, Professor Bloss Stephan, Dr Louise Robinson



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


© 2019 Author(s) (or their employer(s)). Re-use permitted under CC BY-NC. No commercial re-use. See rights and permissions. Published by BMJ. Objective Stroke-survivors are at increased risk of future dementia. Assessment to identify those at high risk of developing a disease using predictive scores has been utilised in different areas of medicine. A number of risk assessment scores for dementia have been developed but none has been recommended for use clinically. The aim of this qualitative study was to assess the acceptability and feasibility of using a risk assessment tool to predict post-stroke dementia. Design Qualitative semi-structured interviews were conducted and analysed thematically. The patients and carers were offered interviews at around 6 (baseline) and 12 (follow-up) months post-stroke; clinicians were interviewed once. Setting The study was conducted in the North-East of England with stroke patients, family carers and healthcare professionals in primary and secondary care. Participants Thirty-nine interviews were conducted (17 clinicians and 15 stroke patients and their carers at baseline. Twelve stroke patients and their carers were interviewed at follow-up, some interviews were conducted in pairs). Results Barriers and facilitators to risk assessment were discussed. For the patients and carers the focus for facilitators were based on the outcomes of risk assessment for example assistance with preparation, diagnosis and for reassurance. For clinicians, facilitators were focused on the process that is, familiarity in primary care, resource availability in secondary care and collaborative care. For barriers, both groups focused on the outcome including for example, the anxiety generated from a potential diagnosis of dementia. For the patients/carers a further barrier included concerns about how it may affect their recovery. For clinicians there were concerns about limited interventions and how it would be different from standard care. Conclusions Risk assessment for dementia post-stroke presents challenges given the ramifications of a potential diagnosis of dementia. Attention needs to be given to how information is communicated and strategies developed to support the patients and carers if risk assessment is used.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Tang E, Exley C, Price C, Stephan B, Robinson L

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: BMJ Open

Year: 2019

Volume: 9

Issue: 3

Online publication date: 27/03/2019

Acceptance date: 07/03/2019

Date deposited: 09/04/2019

ISSN (electronic): 2044-6055

Publisher: BMJ Publishing Group


DOI: 10.1136/bmjopen-2018-025586


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