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Stigma Against Alzheimer's Disease In Turkish Population
  • Nuriye Kayali,
  • Nedime Tugce Bilbay
Ankara Gulhane Egitim ve Arastirma Hastanesi

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Nuriye Kayali
Ankara Gulhane Egitim ve Arastirma Hastanesi
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Nedime Tugce Bilbay
Health Sciences University Diskapi Yildirım Beyazit Training and Research Hospital
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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 intervention strategies.