What features of stigma do the public most commonly attribute to Alzheimer’s disease dementia? Results of a survey of the U.S. general public

Stites, S. D., Rubright, J. D., & Karlawish, J. |2018| What features of stigma do the public most commonly attribute to Alzheimer’s disease dementia? Results of a survey of the US general public| Alzheimer’s & Dementia | Vol. 14 | 7 | P. 925- 932 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jalz.2018.01.006

A new abstract presented at last month’s Alzheimer’s Association Conference in Chicago has been published as a journal article in Alzheimer & Dementia, the journal of the Alzheimer’s Association. 

Abstract

Introduction

Understanding the prevalence of beliefs, attitudes, and expectations about Alzheimer’s disease dementia in the public could inform strategies to mitigate stigma.

Methods

Random sample of 317 adults from the U.S. public was analyzed to understand reactions toward a man with mild-stage Alzheimer’s disease dementia.

Results

In adjusted analyses, over half of respondents expected the person to be discriminated against by employers and be excluded from medical decision-making. Almost half expected his health insurance would be limited based on data in the medical record, a brain imaging result, or genetic test result.

Discussion

Public education and policies are needed to address concerns about employment and insurance discrimination. Studies are needed to discover how advances in diagnosis and treatment may change Alzheimer’s disease stigma.

The article is available for NHS staff to request here 

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