Quarterly scientific journal

Alzheimers disease and stigmatization

Antigoni Fountouki , Stavros Toulis , Aggeliki Nousi , Dimitrios Kosmidis , Dimitrios Theofanidis

Abstract

Aim: The main objective of the study was to explore social bias experienced by patients with Alzheimer's disease and to investigate the knowledge of a sample of the general population regarding this particular disease. Method: The sample consisted of 91 individuals who were first degree relatives of members of three Centers of Open Protection for the Elderly, who did not suffer from dementia as they have recently undergone screening for Alzheimer's disease. A survey design was adopted using a face-to-face questionnaire which apart from the demographical data and two open-ended questions, was based on a 5-point lickert scale, looking at knowledge, attitudes and stigma towards the disease. Data was analyzed through SPSS software using descriptive statistics while results were regarded significant at p<0,05 level of significance Results: For the quantitave questions, cronbach's a was a=0,75 and the average discrete index 0,31. Stigma was explored through a series of direct and in-direct questions and while 70 (77%) persons distinguish dementia from mental illness, 9(9,9%) people did not answer these questions. The majority (62,6%) did not stigmatize the patient as 57 persons said that the patient is not to blame for the disease. Conclusions: from the distribution of results it becomes evident that there is a need for education, training and multifaceted enlightenment of the general population on issues concerning mental health. Answers that implied tendencies of marginalization of patients with dementia emanated mainly came from individuals in the sample with limited knowledge of the illness and relatively low educational background.

Keywords: Alzheimers disease, stigma, knowledge, dementia

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