Why Not?
Why people don’t get screened for Alzheimer’s

The Question

Why don’t people get screened for Alzheimer’s?

Background: Gearing up for a new initiative around Alzheimer’s, the Ad Council held a focus group to understand some of the reasons why people don’t get screened for Alzheimer’s. Here are some of the assumptions they started with:

  • Knowledge is power; screenings are smart
  • It’s advantageous to know how likely you are to get Alzheimer’s
  • If people better understood the screening process (cost, time, pain, etc.), they would do it

We conducted an Insider Insight project to compare our findings against those of the focus group. It was designed to be a gut check to quickly confirm what the Ad Council already thought they knew. We wanted to uncover the real reasons why people don’t get screened for Alzheimer’s. We were curious about what was happening in real-life conversations around Alzheimer’s. And we wanted to know what pain points people thought a screening would resolve.


Insider Insight 2-Week Sprint

About Insider Insight: With Insider Insight, brands can quickly tap into one-on-one conversations to understand what customers want from a product, brand, or service. Insider Insight is not a panel. It harnesses authentic, uncensored conversations between friends and family in all walks of life to get genuine insights. Insider Insight yields valuable, fresh takeaways quickly—at low risk and low cost. It is effective for organizations of all sizes, at all stages, whether alone or in combination with other research methods.

Who We Talked To

Each of our Insiders had a conversation with someone they know who: 1) has Alzheimer’s present in their family history; and 2) who is old enough to consider how Alzheimer’s might shape their own lives.

Why Die Twice?

“A friend of mine lost her husband to the disease and when he died, she said it was the second death. Getting diagnosed with Alzheimer’s was the first.”

– Sandra, 49


Results Snapshot

  • Confirmed what was heard in the focus groups
  • Gained a comprehensive understanding of why people would and would not get screened based on their experience with Alzheimer’s
  • Uncovered an important new layer of insight that was not found in the focus groups, disproving one of the initial assumptions that knowledge = power
  • Identified three common storylines or themes behind the reasons people don’t get screened for Alzheimer’s
  • Received creative and strategic analysis to drive next-steps

The Reframe

When it comes to Alzheimer’s, knowledge isn’t always power. Because there is no treatment or cure for Alzheimer’s, most participants felt that the information gained in a screening would not be helpful and would make them worry unnecessarily. Once they understood why people were hesitant to undergo screening, the Ad Council was able to think about designing a new initiative to strategically reposition the screening.

Next Steps

“So What, Now What?” Workshop

Design Sprint

Idea Validation

Ready to Collaborate?