Investigating memory concerns and checking strategies in the older population.

Green, Deborah (2019) Investigating memory concerns and checking strategies in the older population. Doctoral thesis, University of East Anglia.

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Within an aging population the prevalence of dementia, a neurodegenerative condition affecting memory, has been increasing worldwide. This, in addition to, memory performance found to naturally decline with age, has led to increased awareness of the disease amongst the general population. Consequently, it is theorised that this may have generated a fear of developing dementia or ‘dementia worry’. A systematic review was conducted to investigate the prevalence of dementia worry within the general population. Fifteen articles were included for review and a combined estimate from a subset of articles found 53.3% of the population reported ‘dementia worry’. Furthermore, dementia worry was more prevalent in females, those closer in proximity to dementia, and with concerns about a perceived deterioration in memory. Those with concerns about memory performance may be more likely to utilise strategies to support memory difficulties, such as checking. Previous research, conducted with younger participants and individuals with obsessive-compulsive disorder, have consistently found that repeated checking can lead to increased memory doubt. However, this effect had not been fully explored within older populations. An empirical study found, following a repeated checking task, older participants reported significant deterioration in memory accuracy and memory confidence, with some deterioration in other aspects of meta-memory. These deficits were also indicated in a small sample of older adults with a diagnosis of dementia. Thus, repeated checking paradoxically causes increased memory errors and memory doubt for older participants both with and without cognitive impairments. Together, these papers indicate a possible relationship between dementia worry, memory doubt, and strategy use that may be exacerbating or maintaining these concerns. Clinicians should be aware of these factors and ensure the most beneficial strategies are recommended. Further research is required to deepen our understanding of the consequences of dementia worry and further investigate the implications of memory strategies.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > Norwich Medical School
Depositing User: Users 11011 not found.
Date Deposited: 18 Oct 2019 11:29
Last Modified: 18 Oct 2019 11:29

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