Extrinsic and Intrinsic Help-Seeking Motivation in the Assessment of Cognitive Decline

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Abstract

Diagnostic assessments for dementia include the evaluation of subjective memory impairment, dementia worries, or depressive symptoms. Data on the predictive value of these factors remain unclear, and varying help-seeking behavior may contribute to this finding. We investigate whether differentiating help-seeking motivation from other psychological factors associated with cognitive impairment would enhance the prediction of diagnostic outcomes in a memory clinic. We obtained information on help-seeking motivation from 171 patients who underwent routine diagnostic assessments. Utilizing a discriminant correspondence analysis, our results indicate that extrinsic motivation increases the likelihood of receiving a dementia diagnosis, whereas depression or the duration of deficits carries discriminatory information to further guide the differentiation of prodromal dementia. Recognizing motivational aspects of help-seeking behavior can complement the clinical evaluation of cognitive performance.

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