Beliefs about Alzheimer's disease in Britain

Hudson, John, Pollux, Petra, Mistry, Bejal and Hobson, Sara (2012) Beliefs about Alzheimer's disease in Britain. Aging and Mental Health, 16 (7). pp. 828-835. ISSN 1360-7863

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Beliefs about Alzheimer's disease in Britain
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Objectives: Alzheimer’s disease (AD) represents one of the most debilitating conditions affecting the elderly.
Despite the prevalence and consequences of AD, surveys have revealed that the general public in North America and Australia hold numerous misconceptions of the disease. The aim of this study was to examine whether misconceptions of AD are also endorsed by adults in Britain.
Method: The Alzheimer’s disease knowledge scale (ADKS) was completed by 312 adults residing in Lincolnshire, UK. The ADKS contains 30 true or false statements pertaining to risk factors, assessment and diagnosis, symptoms, course, life impact, caregiving, and treatment and management of AD.
Results: Regardless of age, education, and familiarity with AD, respondents in this survey demonstrated a good understanding (80% mean correct) of some items from all categories. However, knowledge gaps exist about the course of the disease, and of conditions that can exacerbate (inadequate nutrition) or simulate (depression) the
symptoms of AD. Moreover, a large proportion of respondents (75%) are unaware that hypertension or hypercholesterolemia may increase ones predisposition to developing AD.
Conclusion: Respondents revealed knowledge gaps pertaining to conditions that masquerade as AD, increase ones vulnerability to AD, and exacerbate AD symtomatology. Educational campaigns that specifically target these issues may help reduce the impact of AD.

Keywords:knowledge, Misconceptions, Azheimer's disease knowledge scale
Subjects:C Biological Sciences > C800 Psychology
C Biological Sciences > C850 Cognitive Psychology
C Biological Sciences > C860 Neuropsychology
Divisions:College of Social Science > School of Psychology
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ID Code:4950
Deposited On:16 Mar 2012 16:57

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