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Is there a preference for PET or SPECT brain imaging in diagnosing dementia? The views of people with dementia, carers, and healthy controls

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  15 July 2015

Claire Bamford*
Affiliation:
Institute of Health and Society, Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE4 5PL, UK
Kirsty Olsen
Affiliation:
Institute of Neuroscience, Campus for Ageing and Vitality, Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE4 5PL, UK
Chris Davison
Affiliation:
Institute of Neuroscience, Campus for Ageing and Vitality, Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE4 5PL, UK
Nicky Barnett
Affiliation:
Institute of Neuroscience, Campus for Ageing and Vitality, Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE4 5PL, UK
Jim Lloyd
Affiliation:
Regional Medical Physics Department, Royal Victoria Infirmary, Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 4LP, UK
David Williams
Affiliation:
Institute of Neuroscience, Campus for Ageing and Vitality, Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE4 5PL, UK
Michael Firbank
Affiliation:
Institute of Neuroscience, Campus for Ageing and Vitality, Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE4 5PL, UK
Helen Mason
Affiliation:
Yunus Centre for Social Business and Health, Glasgow Caledonian University, Glasgow, G4 0BA, UK
Cam Donaldson
Affiliation:
Yunus Centre for Social Business and Health, Glasgow Caledonian University, Glasgow, G4 0BA, UK
John O’Brien
Affiliation:
Institute of Neuroscience, Campus for Ageing and Vitality, Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE4 5PL, UK Department of Psychiatry, University of Cambridge School of Clinical Medicine, Box 189, Cambridge Biomedical Campus, Cambridge, CB2 0SP, UK
*
Correspondence should be addressed to: Claire Bamford, Institute of Health and Society, Newcastle University, Newcastle Biomedical Research Building, Campus for Ageing and Vitality, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE4 5PL, UK. Phone: +44 (0)191 208 7047; Fax: +44 (0)191 208 6043. Email: claire.bamford@ncl.ac.uk.

Abstract

Background:

Positron emission tomography (PET) and single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) brain imaging are widely used as diagnostic tools for suspected dementia but no studies have directly compared participant views of the two procedures. We used a range of methods to explore preferences for PET and SPECT.

Methods:

Patients and controls (and accompanying carers) completed questionnaires immediately after undergoing PET and SPECT brain scans. Pulse rate data were collected during each scan. Scan attributes were prioritized using a card sorting exercise; carers and controls additionally answered willingness to pay (WTP) questions.

Results:

Few differences were found either between the scans or groups of participants, although carers marginally preferred SPECT. Diagnostic accuracy was prioritized over other scan characteristics. Mean heart rate during both scans was lower than baseline heart rate measured at home (p < 0.001).

Conclusion:

Most participants viewed PET and SPECT scans as roughly equivalent and did not have a preference for either scan. Carer preference for SPECT is likely to reflect their desire to be with the patient (routine practice for SPECT but not for PET), suggesting that they should be able to accompany vulnerable patients throughout imaging procedures wherever possible. Pulse rate data indicated that brain imaging was no more stressful than a home visit (HV) from a researcher. The data do not support the anecdotal view that PET is a more burdensome procedure and the use of PET or SPECT scans in dementia should be based on diagnostic accuracy of the technique.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © International Psychogeriatric Association 2015 

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Is there a preference for PET or SPECT brain imaging in diagnosing dementia? The views of people with dementia, carers, and healthy controls
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