Traits of patients who screen positive for dementia and refuse diagnostic assessment

Nicole R. Fowler, Amie Frame, Anthony J. Perkins, Sujuan Gao, Dennis P. Watson, Patrick Monahan, Malaz A. Boustani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

12 Scopus citations


Background: As part of the debate about screening for dementia, it is critical to understand why patients agree or disagree to diagnostic assessment after a positive screening test. We used the Perceptions Regarding Investigational Screening for Memory in Primary Care (PRISM-PC) questionnaire to measure the characteristics of patients who screened positive for dementia but refused further diagnostic assessment. Methods: Survey of patients ≥65years old without a diagnosis of dementia attending primary care clinics in Indianapolis, IN, in 2008 and2009. Results: Five hundred and fifty-four individuals completed the PRISM-PC and 63 screened positive. Of those, 21 (33%) accepted and 42 (67%) refused diagnostic assessment. In adjusted models, having larger stigma domain scores and living alone were significantly associated with increased odds of refusing the diagnostic assessment. Conclusion: Despite screening positive, many patients refused a diagnostic assessment. Living alone and the perceived stigmas of dementia are associated with the refusal of diagnostic assessment for dementia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)236-241
Number of pages6
JournalAlzheimer's and Dementia: Diagnosis, Assessment and Disease Monitoring
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2015


  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Dementia screening
  • Diagnostic assessment
  • Primary care

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Clinical Neurology

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