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Title: Conversational assessment in memory clinic encounters: interactional profiling for differentiating dementia from functional memory disorders
Authors: Jones, Danielle
Drew, Paul
Elsey, Christopher
Blackburn, Daniel
Wakefield, Sarah
Harkness, Kirsty
Reuber, Markus
Keywords: Dementia
Functional memory disorder
Conversation analysis
Differential diagnosis
Issue Date: 2016
Publisher: © Taylor and Francis
Citation: JONES, D. ... et al, 2016. Conversational assessment in memory clinic encounters: interactional profiling for differentiating dementia from functional memory disorders. Aging and Mental Health, 20(5), pp.500-509.
Abstract: Objectives: In the UK dementia is under-diagnosed, there is limited access to specialist memory clinics, and many of the patients referred to such clinics are ultimately found to have functional (non-progressive) memory disorders (FMD), rather than a neurodegenerative disorder. Government initiatives on ‘timely diagnosis’ aim to improve the rate and quality of diagnosis for those with dementia. This study seeks to improve the screening and diagnostic process by analysing communication between clinicians and patients during initial specialist clinic visits. Establishing differential conversational profiles could help the timely differential diagnosis of memory complaints. Method: This study is based on video- and audio recordings of 25 initial consultations between neurologists and patients referred to a UK memory clinic. Conversation analysis was used to explore recurrent communicative practices associated with each diagnostic group. Results: Two discrete conversational profiles began to emerge, to help differentiate between patients with dementia and functional memory complaints, based on (1) whether the patient is able to answer questions about personal information; (2) whether they can display working memory in interaction; (3) whether they are able to respond to compound questions; (4) the time taken to respond to questions; and (5) the level of detail they offer when providing an account of their memory failure experiences. Conclusion: The distinctive conversational profiles observed in patients with functional memory complaints on the one hand and neurodegenerative memory conditions on the other suggest that conversational profiling can support the differential diagnosis of functional and neurodegenerative memory disorders.
Description: This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published in Aging and Mental Health on 24 Mar 2015, available online: http://www.tandfonline.com/10.1080/13607863.2015.1021753
Sponsor: This article presents independent research funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) under its Research for Patient Benefit (RfPB) Programme [grant number PB-PG-0211-24079].
Version: Accepted for publication
DOI: 10.1080/13607863.2015.1021753
URI: https://dspace.lboro.ac.uk/2134/17153
Publisher Link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13607863.2015.1021753
ISSN: 1360-7863
Appears in Collections:Published Articles (Social Sciences)

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