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What matters to people with memory problems, healthy volunteers and health and social care professionals in the context of developing treatment to prevent Alzheimer’s dementia? A qualitative study

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)504-517
JournalHealth Expectations
Issue number3
Early online date27 Feb 2019
Publication statusPublished - 30 Jun 2019


Background Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is recognised as one of the greatest global public health challenges. There is increasing consensus that optimal disease modification using pharmaceuticals may best be achieved earlier in the disease continuum before symptoms occur. However, more needs to be understood about what outcomes are meaningful to potential participants in clinical trials within this preventative paradigm and how people make trade-offs between risks and benefits. The Electronic Person Specific Outcome Measure (ePSOM) programme is developing an app to capture person specific outcomes and preferences in clinical trials.

Objective As one phase in the ePSOM programme, this study explored what matters when developing new treatments to prevent AD and how trade-offs are made between risks and benefits, from three perspectives.

Design Focus groups were conducted with people living with memory problems (n=21) and healthy volunteers (n=10), and telephone interviews with health and social care professionals (n=10). Differences and overlap between the three groups were explored.

Results Outcomes that matter lie in five key domains in relation to what matters in everyday life: Everyday Functioning; Relationships and Social Connections; Enjoying Life; Sense of Identity; Symptoms. Insights were gained into the significance of reducing the risk of developing dementia with drugs and the processes of weighing up risks versus benefits.

Discussion and conclusions The key domains identified are being used to inform the next stage of the ePSOM programme which is to develop a survey to be distributed nationally in the UK to explore these issues further.

    Research areas

  • patient reported outcome measures, patient preferences, Alzheimer's disease clinical trials, focus groups, disease prevention

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