Public education about normal forgetfulness and dementia: importance and effects

C.J.A.M. Cornmissaris*, F.R.J. Verhey, R.W.H.M. Ponds, J. Jolles, G.J. Kok

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


    In the Netherlands considerable attention has been given to dementia, but hardly any is paid to normal forgetfulness.
    Two information meetings about the differences between normal forgetfulness and dementia were organized in order
    to meet current information needs. Evaluation of those meetings gave more insight into the characteristics of people
    who are worried about their diminishing memory and provided the opportunity of measuring changes in knowledge
    and anxiety. Almost 50% of the 450 participants indicated that they were worried about their memory; 66% of these
    people reported being more or less reassured afterwards. Although the level of knowledge increased, no correlation
    was found between increased knowledge and decreased anxiety. Because of people’s anxiety about possible dementia,
    it is important to provide the general public with more information about this subject. More research, with a control
    group, is necessary to draw conclusions about the effectiveness of health education in this area.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1204-1210
    Number of pages7
    JournalPatient Education and Counseling
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1994

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