Informing patients with acute stroke about their risk of dementia: A survey of UK healthcare professionals

Emily Ball, Gillian Mead, Eugene Tang, Dorota Religa, Terry Quinn, Susan Deborah Shenkin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Cognitive problems following stroke are of key concern to stroke survivors. Discussing risk of dementia at the time of stroke could have implications for follow-up care. However, informing someone who has just had a stroke about risk of dementia could cause distress. This survey explored healthcare professionals’ views on discussing risk of post-stroke dementia at the time of stroke.

Materials and Methods
This online survey was aimed at all UK healthcare professionals who care for patients with stroke. The survey was distributed via the mailing lists of seven professional stroke-related organisations and Twitter. Descriptive statistics were used to summarise findings.

Sixty healthcare professionals completed the survey. Healthcare professionals were aware of the main risk factors associated with post-stroke dementia (e.g. previous stroke, age). Most respondents (N=34/60, 57%) thought that patients with acute stroke would benefit from knowing if they are at high risk of dementia, and 75% (N=45/60) agreed that carers would benefit. Despite this, the majority of healthcare professionals (N=47/53, 89%) who cared for patients with acute stroke in the past year said they rarely/never discussed dementia with their patients. Most respondents (N=46/60, 77%) thought risk of dementia should be discussed 1-6 months post-stroke.

Although healthcare professionals felt it would be helpful to discuss risk of post-stroke dementia, in practice, most said that they rarely or never discussed this with their patients. Stroke survivors could benefit from a healthcare system that offers appropriate follow-up care and support to patients at high risk of dementia.
Original languageEnglish
Article number106279
JournalJournal of Stroke & Cerebrovascular Diseases
Issue number3
Early online date13 Jan 2022
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2022

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • Dementia/epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Professional-Patient Relations
  • Risk
  • Stroke/epidemiology
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • United Kingdom/epidemiology


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