Attitudes toward Alzheimer's disease 

Project: Research project

Project Details


Alzheimer's disease is a neurodegenerative disease that produces dementia, characterized by a deterioration in cognitive abilities such as memory loss, decreased attention span and problem-solving skills, which precede an overall loss of cognitive abilities. This disease occurs mainly in the population over 60 years of age (Adams, Victor, Roper, & Daroff, 1997).
The course of the disease can be divided into three phases, each characterized by the appearance of new symptoms. According to Portellano (2005), the first phase lasts approximately 1 to 3 years and the predominant symptoms are: difficulty in learning, spatial-temporal disorientation and absence of awareness of the disease. The second phase can last between 2 and 10 years and the main symptoms are associated with a deterioration of short and long term memory, accompanied by some language difficulties. Finally, the third phase with a duration of 8 to 12 years, is characterized by a severe deterioration in all cognitive functions that affects the different areas of adjustment of individuals (Portellano, 2005).
In accordance with the above, and taking into account the high prevalence of Alzheimer's disease, it is important to consider psychological aspects associated with its impact on the general population and on people with experiences close to Alzheimer's (Kolb & Whishaw, 2006).
For the purposes of this paper, attitudes are understood as "an organization of generally enduring beliefs and cognitions, endowed with affective charges for or against a defined social object, which predisposes to an action consistent with the cognitions and affects related to that object" (Rodrigues, Assmar, & Jablonski, 2004). And they will be approached from their structure (Reicher, 1995), which is the basis of the tripartite model, according to which "attitudes consist of affective (feelings, emotions), cognitive (knowledge, beliefs, perceived associations between the attitudinal object and its attributes) and behavioral (behavioral intentions or effective behaviors) elements" (García & D'Adamo, 2002, p. 288).
Thus, this paper aims to account for attitudes towards Alzheimer's disease, taking into account the scarce information and research on the subject. Which is evidenced in the literature review conducted by Calle, Vargas and Palacios-Espinosa (2015) regarding attitudes towards HIV/AIDS, cancer and Alzheimer's, where the search results show that research from the tripartite model towards Alzheimer's is null and that studies about attitudes are scarce on the subject.
Considering the above, the objective of this study is to describe attitudes towards Alzheimer's disease in the Colombian adult population.
Effective start/end date1/11/155/31/17


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