Back to Journals » Clinical Interventions in Aging » Volume 9

Help-seeking preferences in the area of mild cognitive impairment: comparing family physicians and the lay public

Authors Werner P, Heinik J, Giveon S, Segel-Karpas D, Kitai E

Received 7 January 2014

Accepted for publication 10 February 2014

Published 9 April 2014 Volume 2014:9 Pages 613—619


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

Perla Werner,1 Jeremia Heinik,2 Shmuel Giveon,3 Dikla Segel-Karpas,1 Eliezer Kitai4

1Center for the Research and Study of Aging, University of Haifa, Haifa, Israel; 2Margoletz Psychogeriatric Center, Ichilov Hospital, Sackler School of Medicine, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel; 3Clalit Health Services, Tel Aviv, Israel; 4Department of Family Medicine, Leumit Health Services, Sackler School of Medicine, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel

Background: Mild cognitive impairment (MCI) or mild neurocognitive disorder is a well-established clinical entity included in current diagnostic guidelines for Alzheimer's disease and in major psychiatric classifications. In all, a loosely defined concern obtained from conceptually different sources (the individual, a knowledgeable informant, or a clinician) regarding a decline in cognition and change in functioning constitutes a sine qua non for initiating diagnostics and providing therapy and support. This concern in practice may translate into complex proactive help-seeking behavior. A better understanding of help-seeking preferences is required in order to promote early detection and management.
Objectives: To compare help-seeking preferences of family physicians and the lay public in the area of MCI.
Methods: A structured questionnaire was used to collect data from 197 family physicians (self-administered) and 517 persons aged 45 and over from the lay public (face to face). Information regarding familiarity with MCI and help-seeking preferences was assessed.
Results: The vast majority in both samples reported that family physician, spouse, and children are the most highly recommended sources of help-seeking. In regard to professional sources of help-seeking, a higher percentage of the physicians than the lay public sample consistently recommended seeking help from nurses and social workers and psychiatrists, but a higher percentage of the lay public recommended turning to a neurologist for help.
Discussion: There were both similarities and differences between family physicians and the lay public in their preferences regarding help-seeking for a person with MCI. Most prominent is the physicians' greater tendency to recommend professional sources of help-seeking.
Conclusion: Understanding of help-seeking preferences of both physicians and lay persons might help overcome barriers for establishing diagnosis, receiving care, and improving communication between doctors and patients.

Keywords: lay persons, barriers, doctors, patients

Creative Commons License This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited. The full terms of this license are available at and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution - Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License. By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed. For permission for commercial use of this work, please see paragraphs 4.2 and 5 of our Terms.

Download Article [PDF]  View Full Text [HTML][Machine readable]