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To date, surveys of attitudes toward dementia have largely been conducted using unvalidated materials or have focused on healthcare professionals supporting people affected by dementia. The aim of this study was to carry out a survey of public attitudes toward people affected by dementia in Bristol and South Gloucestershire.
A survey was carried out using a modified version of the Approaches to Dementia Questionnaire (ADQ). Data from people living outside the area, and people who were working with people affected by dementia were omitted from the analysis. Responses from the remaining 794 ADQ questionnaires were weighted to correct for under-represented age, gender, and ethnic groups.
Younger people held more positive attitudes toward dementia than older people. Individuals who identified themselves as White held more positive attitudes than non-White individuals. Individuals with personal experience of dementia held more positive attitudes than those with no experience of dementia. When considering age differences, gender played a role, with younger men having more positive scores than other groups.
This is one of the first surveys of public attitudes to dementia to use a validated questionnaire such as the ADQ. The study provides a baseline of attitudes toward dementia for the Bristol and South Gloucestershire areas, against which we will be able to compare changes over time. This is important due to the emphasis in public health campaigns on improving attitudes toward dementia.
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