What Drives Interest in Dementia Awareness and Prevention Programs?

Katrail Davis, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, United States
Julie Suhr, Ohio University, Athens, United States
Matthew Calamia, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, United States


As many factors increase one’s risk of developing dementia, multicomponent interventions may play a key part in dementia prevention. Awareness of modifiable risks of dementia has represented a barrier to intervention participation. Remote interventions present an opportunity to broaden access to information and implement behavior change strategies, but there is limited research on the drivers of seeking out or attending interventions. The aim of the current study was to explore demographic, health, and dementia-related (e.g., knowledge, worry, and experience) factors and their associations with interest in a telehealth intervention focused on dementia awareness and prevention.

Participants and Methods:

255 participants were recruited from Louisiana and Ohio and completed an online survey. Participants were aged 50 years and older (M = 65.25, SD = 9.36) and were primarily female (76.5%). Dementia knowledge was measured using the Knowledge of Dementia scale and dementia worry was measured utilizing the Dementia Worry Scale. Participants were asked about current and past diagnoses of hypertension, high cholesterol, hypothyroidism, obesity, and diabetes. Current and past use of tobacco was also assessed. To measure dementia experience, participants were asked if they have ever had a close friend or family member experience cognitive impairment or be diagnosed with dementia. Interest in a remote group-based intervention aimed at increasing the awareness and prevention of dementia was asked and participants were given ‘yes’, ‘maybe’, and ‘no’ options. An ordinal logistical regression analysis was conducted with these dementia-related and health factors and demographic predictors (i.e., age and sex).


Most participants indicated some interest in participation with the majority responding ‘maybe’ (45.9%) or ‘yes’ (32.2%). Higher levels of dementia worry were associated with an increased interest in participation (odds ratio =1.03, 95% CI 1.01 to 1.05, p <0.05). Participants who reported past use of tobacco cigarettes were more likely to be interested than those who were currently or had never partaken in smoking (odd ratio = 1.91, 95% CI 1.034 to 3.274, p <0.05). Those who endorsed a current diagnosis of hypertension were significantly more interested in participation than their counterparts who had never or previously been diagnosed (odds ratio =1.84, 95% CI 1.079 to 3.374, p <0.05). Past dementia experience and all other health risk factors were not significantly associated with interest in interventions.


Results indicated interest being at least partially driven by the presence of health risks, history of health behavior change (i.e., quitting smoking), and dementia worry. Future interventions aimed at dementia awareness and prevention may benefit from recruitment strategies focused on these factors. Future research should examine dementia worry in the context of other psychological symptoms (e.g., depression) to better understand mental health predictors which are also targeted as part of multicomponent interventions.

Category: Aging

Keyword 1: awareness
Keyword 2: motivation
Keyword 3: dementia - Alzheimer's disease