• Exploring Public Perceptions and Understanding of Dementia: Analysing Narratives from the Mass Observation Project

      Olsen, Veronica; Taylor, Louise; Whiteley, Kirsty; Ellerton, Annie; Kingston, Paul; Bailey, Jan; University of Chester (Sage, 2019-07-10)
      Over 850,000 people living in the United Kingdom have been diagnosed with dementia, yet knowledge about this condition amongst the general population remains relatively poor. Many studies have evaluated the level of public knowledge and understanding about dementia from a research and professional service perspective, however none have considered this condition from the perspective of the wider public. In this preliminary overview, we analyse and describe high level narratives collected from 143 respondents to a dementia Directive commissioned to the Mass Observation Project. These narratives present a perspective on the public knowledge and understanding about dementia not previously considered, where respondents have written openly about their own experiences, and reflected on their perception of the wider public’s knowledge and understanding about dementia. This unique perspective importantly enhances our knowledge about the public’s understanding and awareness of dementia, and informs the main areas of public concern found in the analysis: care responsibilities, impact on relationships, and fears about developing dementia.