The development of memory difficulties: A journey into the unknown

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The primary focus of research exploring the experience of developing memory difficulties has been on people who already have a diagnosis of dementia. This study employs a qualitative approach to explore the experience of memory difficulties in three individuals experiencing the process of investigation for dementia. The participants were interviewed before they had a formal diagnosis, and again after they had attended for an assessment at a memory clinic. Partners' interviews provided a further interpretative context, although they were not analysed. Data were analysed using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis. Results show that participants were keen to find an explanation for their memory difficulties. The satisfaction that participants felt with the explanation given at the memory clinic was dependent on how informed they felt, which also had implications for how they subsequently viewed themselves. Findings highlight the nature of uncertainty in the area of memory difficulties, and recommendations are discussed.

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