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Can Fam Physician. Dec 2004; 50: 1671–1677.
PMCID: PMC2214533

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


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.

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Selected References

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