Introduction: Cognitive, behavioral, and psychiatric disorders
associated with dementia cause stigma against Alzheimer’s disease (AD)
in both patients, caregivers, and healthy individuals in public. To the
best of our knowledge, since stigma against AD is not investigated in
the Turkish public, we wanted to evaluate the stigma of healthy Turkish
people according to their demographic characteristics in our study.
Materials and Methods: 439 healthy participants without any history of
neurological and/or systemic disease were included in this
cross-sectional observational study. Demographic characteristics and
knowledge about the AD of the participants were recorded. A ten-question
survey was applied to the participants to assess the stigmatization
against AD. Factors associated with the stigma score were evaluated in
regression analysis. Results: 253 men and 186 women were included in
this study (mean age: 35.7 ± 9.8 years ). Most of them had knowledge
about AD (94.3%). Only 18.5% had a family history of AD. Sixty-five
percent had married. 95 of 439 persons (21.6%) worked in health fields.
60.6% of healthy participants had a moderate-high stigma against AD.
The mean stigma score was 8.95 ± 4.79. Total stigma scores were higher
in women and single persons (p = 0.001 / p< 0.001). Healthcare
workers expressed the highest levels of stigma (p < 0.001).
Age, knowledge, and family history of AD did not influence stigma.
Shame, loss of self-esteem, and fear of exclusion were expressed the
most. Conclusion: To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study
that evaluated perceived stigma against AD in the Turkish healthy
population. The higher incidence of stigma among women and single
persons can be explained by cultural reasons. Stigma in health
professionals may lead to delay in early diagnosis and management of AD.
Further studies of perceived stigma are necessary to improve