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Examining perceived stigma in persons with progressive memory loss such as dementia: An Australian study

Prof Elizabeth Beattie, A/Prof Barbara Horner, Prof Wendy Moyle, Mr David Wellman
Research Centre DCRC Carers and Consumers
Partner Institution Queensland University of Technology, Curtin University
Project Description

The aim of this study is to investigate the impact of perceived stigma on quality of life (QoL) outcomes in people with progressive memory loss such as Alzheimer's Dementia (AD).

There is a known strong association between stigma and other chronic diseases that involve decreased physical and mental abilities, which link to social isolation. However, little is known about the effects of perceived stigma on people with progressive memory loss, especially related to emotional and behavioural functioning.

A repeated series of questionnaires and interviews will explore the perception of stigma for people with progressive memory loss and their carers. These will investigate the effect of stigma on QoL indicators such as self esteem, social behaviours, physical health, and the well being for both the person with AD and their carer.

This research will increase our understanding of the stigma experienced by people with progressive memory loss and their carers by identifying how stigma affects QoL and how the experience of stigma changes over time as the disease progresses. It is anticipated that this study will lead to interventions to help decrease stigma in persons with AD and their carers, leading to social inclusion, better emotional health, lower costs of care, and potential to remain living in their home and participating in the community.

This is a multi-state study, taking place in Queensland and Western Australia.

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