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Conscious Cogn. 2014 Apr;25:17-26. doi: 10.1016/j.concog.2014.01.008. Epub 2014 Feb 19.

Phenomena of awareness in dementia: heterogeneity and its implications.

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Centre for Health & Population Sciences, Hull York Medical School, University of Hull, UK. Electronic address:
School of Psychology, Bangor University, Bangor, Gwynedd, UK.
Psychology in Science, Open University, Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire, UK.
King's College London, Institute of Psychiatry, London, UK.


Despite much research on the relationship between awareness and dementia little can be concluded concerning their relationship and the role of other factors. It is likely that studies capture different phenomena of awareness. This study aimed at identifying and delineating such variation by analysing data from three questionnaires obtained during the longitudinal study of awareness in 101 people with early-stage dementia. The data concerned awareness in relation to memory, activities of daily living and socio-emotional function. Significant differences in patterns of discrepancies were obtained. This suggests that the awareness phenomena involved were structurally different; and that, in turn, this may reflect variation in the intrinsic linking between awareness and its 'object' (different 'objects' determining different kinds of judgements). The identification of such differences is necessary so that appropriate methodologies can be applied to the study of awareness in different contexts.


Awareness; Dementia; Discrepancy measures; Insight; Structure

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