Public education about normal forgetfulness and dementia: Importance and effects

C. J. A. M. Commissaris*, F. R. J. Verhey Jr., R. W. H. M. Ponds, J. Jolles, G. J. Kok

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


In the Netherlands considerable attention has been given to dementia, but hardly any is paid to normal forgetfulness. Two information meetings about the differences between normal forgetfulness and dementia were organized in order to meet current information needs. Evaluation of those meetings gave more insight into the characteristics of people who are worried about their diminishing memory and provided the opportunity of measuring changes in knowledge and anxiety. Almost 50% of the 450 participants indicated that they were worried about their memory; 66% of these people reported being more or less reassured afterwards. Although the level of knowledge increased, no correlation was found between increased knowledge and decreased anxiety. Because of people's anxiety about possible dementia, it is important to provide the general public with more information about this subject. More research, with a control group, is necessary to draw conclusions about the effectiveness of health education in this area. © 1994.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)109-115
JournalPatient Education and Counseling
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1994
Externally publishedYes

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