• We are sorry, but NCBI web applications do not support your browser and may not function properly. More information
Logo of canfamphysLink to Publisher's site
Can Fam Physician. Dec 2004; 50: 1671–1677.
PMCID: PMC2214533

Disclosure of Alzheimer's disease. Senior citizens' opinions.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE: To determine the proportion of elderly people without dementia who would want disclosure of a diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease (AD), for themselves or for their spouses, and to verify whether the availability of medication would influence their decision. DESIGN: A cross-sectional survey with a semistructured questionnaire completed during face-to-face interviews. SETTING: Medical and surgical outpatient clinics in St Mary's Hospital Center. PARTICIPANTS: 204 subjects 65 years or older with at most mild cognitive impairment. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Percentage of positive responses for disclosure of a diagnosis of AD to self or to spouse, with or without medication. RESULTS: Nearly all (98%) subjects wanted disclosure for themselves. Most (78%) wanted disclosure for their potentially afflicted spouses when medication was said to be unavailable. This proportion increased to 97%, however, if medication was available. CONCLUSION: Most participants requested honesty for themselves. Most wanted disclosure to a potentially affected spouse when medication is said to be available.

Full Text

The Full Text of this article is available as a PDF (229K).

Selected References

These references are in PubMed. This may not be the complete list of references from this article.
  • Pinner G. Truth-telling and the diagnosis of dementia. Br J Psychiatry. 2000 Jun;176:514–515. [PubMed]
  • Rice Karl, Warner Nick. Breaking the bad news: what do psychiatrists tell patients with dementia about their illness? Int J Geriatr Psychiatry. 1994 Jun;9(6):467–471. [PubMed]
  • Johnson H, Bouman WP, Pinner G. On telling the truth in Alzheimer's disease: a pilot study of current practice and attitudes. Int Psychogeriatr. 2000 Jun;12(2):221–229. [PubMed]
  • Clafferty RA, Brown KW, McCabe E. Under half of psychiatrists tell patients their diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease. BMJ. 1998 Aug 29;317(7158):603–603. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Vassilas CA, Donaldson J. Telling the truth: what do general practitioners say to patients with dementia or terminal cancer? Br J Gen Pract. 1998 Mar;48(428):1081–1082. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Kirby M, Maguire C. Telling the truth. Br J Gen Pract. 1998 Jun;48(431):1343–1344. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Maguire CP, Kirby M, Coen R, Coakley D, Lawlor BA, O'Neill D. Family members' attitudes toward telling the patient with Alzheimer's disease their diagnosis. BMJ. 1996 Aug 31;313(7056):529–530. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Erde EL, Nadal EC, Scholl TO. On truth telling and the diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease. J Fam Pract. 1988 Apr;26(4):401–406. [PubMed]
  • Holroyd S, Snustad DG, Chalifoux ZL. Attitudes of older adults' on being told the diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease. J Am Geriatr Soc. 1996 Apr;44(4):400–403. [PubMed]
  • Marzanski M. Would you like to know what is wrong with you? On telling the truth to patients with dementia. J Med Ethics. 2000 Apr;26(2):108–113. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Pfeiffer E. A short portable mental status questionnaire for the assessment of organic brain deficit in elderly patients. J Am Geriatr Soc. 1975 Oct;23(10):433–441. [PubMed]
  • Smyer MA, Hofland BF, Jonas EA. Validity study of the short portable mental status questionnaire for the elderly. J Am Geriatr Soc. 1979 Jun;27(6):263–269. [PubMed]
  • Erkinjuntti T, Sulkava R, Wikström J, Autio L. Short Portable Mental Status Questionnaire as a screening test for dementia and delirium among the elderly. J Am Geriatr Soc. 1987 May;35(5):412–416. [PubMed]
  • Rohde K, Peskind ER, Raskind MA. Suicide in two patients with Alzheimer's disease. J Am Geriatr Soc. 1995 Feb;43(2):187–189. [PubMed]
  • Bahro M, Silber E, Sunderland T. How do patients with Alzheimer's disease cope with their illness? A clinical experience report. J Am Geriatr Soc. 1995 Jan;43(1):41–46. [PubMed]
  • Husband HJ. Diagnostic disclosure in dementia: an opportunity for intervention? Int J Geriatr Psychiatry. 2000 Jun;15(6):544–547. [PubMed]
  • Smith AP, Beattie BL. Disclosing a diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease: patient and family experiences. Can J Neurol Sci. 2001 Feb;28 (Suppl 1):S67–S71. [PubMed]
  • Jha A, Tabet N, Orrell M. To tell or not to tell-comparison of older patients' reaction to their diagnosis of dementia and depression. Int J Geriatr Psychiatry. 2001 Sep;16(9):879–885. [PubMed]
  • Patterson CJ, Gauthier S, Bergman H, Cohen CA, Feightner JW, Feldman H, Hogan DB. The recognition, assessment and management of dementing disorders: conclusions from the Canadian Consensus Conference on Dementia. CMAJ. 1999 Jun 15;160(12 Suppl):S1–15. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Post SG, Whitehouse PJ. Fairhill guidelines on ethics of the care of people with Alzheimer's disease: a clinical summary. Center for Biomedical Ethics, Case Western Reserve University and the Alzheimer's Association. J Am Geriatr Soc. 1995 Dec;43(12):1423–1429. [PubMed]
  • Gordon M, Goldstein D. Alzheimer's disease. To tell or not to tell. Can Fam Physician. 2001 Sep;47:1803–1809. [PMC free article] [PubMed]

Articles from Canadian Family Physician are provided here courtesy of College of Family Physicians of Canada

Formats:

Related citations in PubMed

See reviews...See all...

Cited by other articles in PMC

See all...

Links

  • MedGen
    MedGen
    Related information in MedGen
  • PubMed
    PubMed
    PubMed citations for these articles

Recent Activity

Your browsing activity is empty.

Activity recording is turned off.

Turn recording back on

See more...