Intentions of first-degree relatives of patients with Alzheimer's disease to seek a cognitive status examination

Perla Werner*, Jeremia Heinik

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Aims. The aim of the present study was to examine the factors influencing intentions to seek a cognitive status evaluation among first-degree relatives of persons with Alzheimer's disease. Methods. Phone interviews were conducted with 93 first-degree relatives of persons with Alzheimer's disease, recruited from a large memory clinic. Measures. Intentions to seek a cognitive status examination were examined by asking participants to rate their willingness to seek a cognitive status examination during the next year and during the next five years. Independent variables included participants' and patients' characteristics, caregiving characteristics, knowledge about AD, worries about memory problems, and perceptions of the benefits and barriers of seeking a cognitive status examination. Results. Overall, first-degree relatives reported only moderate intentions to seek a cognitive status examination. Their willingness to seek an examination was related to the characteristics of the first-degree relative (income and subjective memory), the characteristics of the patients (behavioral problems), the caregiving characteristics (primary caregiver), and to the perceptions of barriers associated with the examination. Conclusions. These findings stress the complexity of the decision-making process confronting first-degree relatives regarding their intentions to seek a cognitive status examination, and suggest the need to provide information to reach an informed decision.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)479-486
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry
Volume19
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2004

Keywords

  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Benefits and barriers
  • Cognitive status examination
  • Intentions to behave

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