There is limited understanding of which factors most influence take-up of DRR behaviour in the general population. This evidence gap may limit the effectiveness of DRR implementation and, hence, impede translation of increasing evidence for DRR1 into real-world public health benefits.
Reviews of quantitative studies have identified poor knowledge and persistence of myths about ageing2,3 as important. However, these findings are limited by the scope of included questionnaires.
Qualitative literature reporting the perspectives of the general public offers an opportunity to increase this understanding. Qualitative studies can examine poorly understood phenomena in greater depth and with fewer a priori assumptions. Qualitative evidence synthesis (QES) is increasingly recognised as valuable, particularly in relation to complex interventions like DRR.
We will present a QES regarding the perspectives of dementia- free members of the general public towards DRR. Searches indicate that no QES for this topic currently exists.
Systematic searches of Medline, PsycINFO, Embase and CINAHL for studies published since 1995 that have used qualitative methods to explore DRR perspectives in the general public were undertaken, supplemented by hand searches of included studies’ reference lists. Following independent screening by two reviewers, 41 publications based on 37 individual studies meeting inclusion criteria have been identified.
Data will be analysed using thematic synthesis, as outlined by Thomas and Harden (2008)4 and recommended for QES regarding complex health interventions5. ‘Line-by-line’ inductive coding and development of descriptive themes across studies will produce a summary of the perspectives of the general public for DRR. A conceptual framework explaining the relationships between key themes and considering the implications for implementation will be proposed.
The Critical Appraisal Skills Programme (CASP) tool will be used to appraise included studies. Rather than imposing an arbitrary quality cut-off point for inclusion, sensitivity analyses will be used to examine the influence of lower quality studies on review findings. Finally, the Confidence in the Evidence from Qualitative Reviews (CERQual) approach will facilitate assessment of confidence in review findings to aid future use. Data extraction is ongoing.
Findings from this synthesis will support better targeted quantitative examination of DRR implementation determinants and more strategic intervention design.
1. World Health Organisation. Risk reduction of cognitive decline and dementia: WHO guidelines. World Health Organisation. 2019. Geneva. Licence CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 IGO
2. Cahill, S., Pierce, M., Werner, P., Darley, A., Bobersky, A. A systematic review of the public’s knowledge and understanding of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. Alz Dis Assoc Disord. 2015; 29:255-275
3. Cations, M., Radisic, G., Crotty, M., Laver, K.E. What does the general public understand about prevention and treatment of dementia? A systematic review of population-based surveys. PLoS One. 2018, 13(4):e0196085
4. Thomas, J. and Harden, A. (2008). Methods for the thematic synthesis of qualitative research in systematic reviews, BMC Medical Research Methodology. 2008 July; 8:45. doi 10.1186/1471-2288-8-45
5. Noyes, J., Booth, A., Cargo, M., et al. (2018). Cochrane Qualitative and Implementation Methods Group guidance series – paper 1: introduction. J of Clin Epidemiol. 2018; 97:35-38