Agreement between spouses and children in descriptions of personality change in Alzheimer's disease

Jeremia Heinik*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The purpose of the present study was to evaluate the agreement among spouses and children in their describing the current and past personality of patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD) and to determine the relations between their descriptions and selected demographic and clinical variables. The subjects were 22 dementia out-patients who fulfilled the DSM-III-R criteria for uncomplicated dementia of the Alzheimer's type and the NINCDS-ADRDA criteria for AD. Spouses and children of these patients were separately administered Brooks and McKinlay's personality inventory consisting of 18 pairs of adjectives that characterize the extremes of a behavioral dimension, and were asked to judge where the subject's demeanor fell on a five-point scale, varying from +2 to -2, in which zero was regarded as neutral. Spouses and children reported marked changes in most measured behavioral dimensions following the onset of AD. Spouses identified significant changes on 14/18 items and children on 13/18 items. Spouses and children agreed on practically all items concerning personality attributes before the onset of illness, and on 16/18 items after it. Changes in personality were not correlated with the studied demographic characteristics of patients, spouses and children, nor with the cognitive deficits and illness duration of the patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)88-94
Number of pages7
JournalIsrael Journal of Psychiatry and Related Sciences
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1999
Externally publishedYes


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