Clinical Edge

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Features of Stigma and Alzheimer Disease Dementia

Alzheimers Dement; ePub 2018 Mar 27; Stites, et al

Public education and policies are needed to address concerns about employment and insurance discrimination against persons with Alzheimer disease (AD), according to a recent study. A random sample of 317 US adults was analyzed to understand reactions toward a man with mild-stage AD dementia. Investigators found:

  • In adjusted analyses, over half of respondents expected the person to be discriminated against by employers (55.3%) and be excluded from medical decision-making (55.3%).
  • Almost half expected his health insurance would be limited based on data in the medical record (46.6%), a brain imaging result (45.6%), or genetic test result (44.7%).
  • Understanding the prevalence of beliefs, attitudes, and expectations about AD dementia in the public could inform strategies to mitigate stigma.


Stites SD, Rubright JD, Karlawish J. What features of stigma do the public most commonly attribute to Alzheimer's disease dementia? Results of a survey of the US general public. [Published online ahead of print March 27, 2018]. Alzheimers Dement. doi:10.1016/j.jalz.2018.01.006

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