SciELO - Scientific Electronic Library Online

 
vol.2 issue3Alzheimer disease neuropathology:understanding autonomic dysfunctionDetecting cognitive impairment in patients with Parkinson's disease using a brief cognitive screening tool: Addenbrooke's Cognitive Examination (ACE) author indexsubject indexarticles search
Home Pagealphabetic serial listing  

Services on Demand

Journal

Article

Indicators

Related links

Share


Dementia & Neuropsychologia

Print version ISSN 1980-5764

Dement. neuropsychol. vol.2 no.3 São Paulo July/Sept. 2008

http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1980-57642009DN20300005 

Original Articles

Public awareness of dementia: A study in Botucatu, a medium-sized city in the State of São Paulo, Brazil

O conhecimento público da demência: um estudo em Botucatu, uma cidade de média dimensão no Estado de São Paulo, Brasil

Arthur Oscar Schelp 1  

Andrea Bruno Nieri 1  

Pedro Tadao Hamamoto Filho 2  

Alessandra Martins Bales 2  

Cristiane Lara Mendes-Chiloff 3  

1Neurologist, Department of Neurology, Psychology and Psychiatry, Botucatu Medical School, São Paulo State University.

2Student, 5th year, Botucatu Medical School, São Paulo State University

3Psychologist, Botucatu Medical School, São Paulo State University.

Abstract

Dementia is a progressive and debilitating disease affecting an increasing number of people worldwide. Despite its importance, only a few studies have examined public awareness of dementia. We present a study of the public awareness of dementia in Botucatu, São Paulo, Brazil.

Methods:

A sample of 73 individuals answered a questionnaire approved by the Medical Ethics Research Committee inquiring about the characteristics of healthy old-aged and demented individuals.

Results:

Those interviewed believed that dementia is characterized by prevalent memory impairment (41%) and behavioral changes (32.9%) with onset in the 60's or older (42.5%) and upon suspecting dementia, only a few would seek specialized medical help.

Discussion:

Better understanding of public awareness of dementia provides the clue to more effective health and social policies in order to achieve a higher rate of early diagnosis and thereby possibly decreasing patient, family and caregiver distress.

Key words: dementia; Alzheimer's disease; elderly population; public awareness.

Resumo

Demência é uma síndrome progressiva e inabilitante que afeta um número crescente de pessoas ao redor do mundo. A despeito de sua importância, poucos estudos tem examinado a conhecimento público sobre demência.

Objetivo:

Apresentar um estudo sobre o conhecimento sobre demência em Botucatu, São Paulo, Brasil.

Métodos:

Uma amostra de 73 indivíduos responderam a um questionário, aprovado pelo Comitê de Ética em Pesquisa Médica, a respeito das características de indivíduos idosos sadios e pessoas com demência.

Resultados:

Os sujeitos entrevistados acreditavam que a demência se caracteriza por uma prevalente perda de memória (41%) e alterações comportamentais (32.9%) com início aos 60 anos ou mais (42.5%) e, e no caso de suspeita de demência, somente poucos procurariam ajuda médica especializada.

Discussão:

Melhor compreensão do conhecimento público sobre demência fornece pistas para políticas sociais e de saúde mais efetivas a fim de atingir um índice mais alto de diagnóstico precoce e possivelmente diminuir o desgaste do paciente, da família e dos cuidadores.

Palavras-chave: demência; doença de Alzheimer; população idosa; percepção pública.

Texto completo disponível apenas em PDF.

Full text available only in PDF format.

References

1. Grahan N, Brodaty H. Alzheimer's Disease International. Int J Geriatr Psychiatry 1997;12:691-692. [ Links ]

2. Prince M, Livingston G, Kantona C. Mental health care for the elderly in low-income countries: a health systems approach. World Psychiatry 2007;6:5-13. [ Links ]

3. Piechniczek-Buczek J, Riordan ME, Volicer L. Family member perception of quality of their visits with relatives with dementia: a pilot study. J Am Med Dir Assoc 2007;8:166-172. [ Links ]

4. Ferri CP, Prince M, Brayne C, et al. Global prevalence of dementia: Delphi consensus study. Lancet 2005;366:2112-2117. [ Links ]

5. Herrera JE, Caramelli P, Silveira ASB, Nitrini R. Epidemiological survey of dementia in a community-dwelling Brazilian population. Alzheimer Dis Assoc Disord 2002;16:103-108. [ Links ]

6. Steckenrider JS . What people know about, Alzheimer's disease: A study of public knowledge. Am J Alzheimers Dis Other Demen 1993;8:6-14. [ Links ]

7. Connell CM, Scott Roberts J, McLaughlin SJ. Public opinion about Alzheimer Disease among blacks, hispanic and whites. Alzheimer Dis Assoc Disord 2007;21:232-240. [ Links ]

8. Scott Roberts J, Connel CM, Cisewski D, Hipps YG, Demissie S, Green RC. Differences between african americans and whites in their perceptions of Alzheimer Disease. Alzheimer Dis Assoc Disord 2003;17:19-26. [ Links ]

9. Barnes LL, Schneider JA, Boyle PA, Bienias JL, Bennett DA. Memory complaints are related to Alzheimer Disease pathology in older persons. Neurology 2006;67:1581-1585. [ Links ]

10. Nagaratnan N, Lewis-Jones M, Scott D, et al. Behavioral and psychiatric manifestations in dementia patients in a community: caregiver burden and outcome. Alzheimer Dis Assoc Disord 1998;12:330-334. [ Links ]

11. Chan DC, Kasper JD, Black BS, Rabins PV. Prevalence and correlates of behavioral symptoms in community-dwelling elders with dementia or mild cognitive impairment: the memory and Medical Care Study. Int J Geriatr Psychiatry 2003;18:174-182. [ Links ]

12. Cruz VT, Pais J, Teixeira A, Nunes B. Sintomas iniciais de demência de Alzheimer a percepção de familiares. Acta Med Port 2004;17:435-444. [ Links ]

13. Starkstein SE, Garau ML, Cao A. Prevalence and clinical correlates of disinhibition in dementia. Cogn Behav Neurol 2004;17:139-147. [ Links ]

14. Ramos-Cerqueira AT, Torres AR, Crepaldi AL, et al. Identification of dementia cases in the community: a brazilian experience. J Am Geriatr Soc 2005;53:1738-1742. [ Links ]

15. Cohen L. Toward an anthropology of senility: anger, weakness and Alzheimer's in Banaras, India. Med Anthropol Q 1995;9:314-334. [ Links ]

16. Vernooij-Dassen MJ, Moniz-Cook ED, Woods RT, et al. Factors affecting timely recognition and diagnosis of dementia across Europe: from awareness to stigma. Int J Geriatr Psychiatry 2005;20:377-386. [ Links ]

17. MacRae H. Managing courtesy stigma: the case of Alzheimer's disease. Sociol Health Illn 1999;21:54-70. [ Links ]

18. de Mendonça Lima CA, Levav I, Jacobsson L, et al. Stigma and discrimination against older people with mental disorders in Europe. Int J Geriatr Psychiatry 2003;18:679-682. [ Links ]

Received: May 30, 2007; Accepted: August 26, 2008

Arthur Oscar Schelp - Departamento de Neurologia, Psicologia e Psiquiatria / Faculdade de Medicina de Botucatu, Unesp / Distrito de Rubião Junior - 18618-970 Botucatu SP - Brasil. E-mail: aschelp@fmb.unesp.br

Creative Commons License This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License