Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home

Discriminatory behavior of family physicians toward a person with Alzheimer's disease

  • Perla Werner (a1) and Shmuel M. Giveon (a2)

Abstract

Background: It has been anecdotally suggested that health care professionals have stigmatic beliefs about persons with Alzheimer's disease (AD). However, the nature and prevalence of those beliefs have yet to be elucidated. The aim of the present study is to examine stigma towards a person with AD among primary care physicians.

Methods: A nationally representative sample of 501 family physicians (54.1% female, mean age = 49, mean years in the profession = 21) were interviewed using a computer-assisted telephone interview and a structured questionnaire based on an expanded version of attribution theory.

Results: The findings showed that physicians' discriminatory behavior was especially high in the dimension of avoidance and coercion, but low in the dimension of segregation. Two central emotions (anger-fear and pity) were found to affect participants' tendency to discriminate, as were attributions of dangerousness.

Conclusions: Addressing these factors may require targeted education of health professionals as well as the enforcement of anti-discrimination policies.

Copyright

Corresponding author

Correspondence should be addressed to: Professor Perla Werner, Department of Gerontology, Faculty of Social Welfare and Health Sciences, University of Haifa, Mt. Carmel, Haifa 31905, Israel. Phone: 972-4-8249565; Fax: 972-4-8249946. Email: werner@research.haifa.ac.il.

References

Hide All
Alzheimer's Association of Canada (2003). Ten warning signs of Alzheimer's disease. http://www.alz.org/AboutAD/10Sings.htm. Accessed 9 February 2003.
Angermeyer, M. C. and Matschinger, H. (1997). Social distance towards the mentally ill: results of representative surveys in the Federal Republic of Germany. Psychological Medicine, 27, 131141.
Angermeyer, M. C., Beck, M. and Matschinger, H. (2003). Determinants of the public's preference for social distance from people with schizophrenia. Canadian Journal of Psychiatry, 48 (10), 663668.
Aydin, N., Yigit, A., Inandi, T. and Kirpinar, I. (2003). Attitudes of hospital staff towards mentally ill patients in teaching hospital. Turkey. International Journal of Social Psychiatry, 49, 1726.
Bartlett, M. S. (1954). A note on the multiplying factors for various chi square approximations. Journal of the Royal Statistics Society, 16 (Series B), 296298.
Boilat, M. E., Gee, D. and Bellavance, F. (1997). Ethical conflicts in home care, patient autonomy and physician advocacy. Canadian Family Physician, 43, 21362142.
Cahill, S., Clark, M., Walsh, C., O'Connell, H. and Lawlor, B. (2006). Dementia in primary care: the first survey of Irish general practitioners. International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, 21, 319324.
Caldwell, T. M. and Jorm, A. F. (2000). Mental health nurses' beliefs about interventions for schizophrenia and depression: a comparison with psychiatrists and the public. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, 34, 602611.
Chapman, D. P., Marshal Williams, S., Strine, T.W., Anda, R. F. and Moore, M. J. (2006). Dementia and its implications for public health. Preventing Chronic Disease: Public Health Research, Practice and Policy, 3 (3), 113.
Corrigan, P. W., Edwards, A. B., Green, A., Diwan, S. L. and Penn, D. L. (2001). Prejudice, social distance and familiarity with mental illness. Schizophrenia Bulletin, 27, 219225.
Corrigan, P. et al. (2003). An attribution model of public discrimination towards persons with mental illness. Journal of Health and Social Behavior, 44, 162179.
Cotter, V. T. (2006). Alzheimer's disease: issues and challenges in primary care. Nursing Clinics of North America, 41, 8393.
Downs, M. G. (1996). The role of general practice and the primary care team in dementia diagnosis and management. International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, 11, 937942.
Field, T. S. et al. (2002). Surveying physicians: do components of the “total design approach” to optimizing survey response rates apply to physicians? Medical Care, 40, 596606.
Filipcic, I. et al. (2003). Attitudes of medical staff towards the psychiatric label “schizophrenic patient” tested by an anti-stigma questionnaire. Collegium Antropologicum, 27, 301307.
Fillit, H. M. (2000). Managed care decision in Alzheimer's disease. American Journal of Managed Care, 6, S1149S1160.
Frankfort-Nachmias, C. and Nachmias, D. (1992). Research Methods in the Social Sciences. New York: St. Martin Press.
Iliffe, S., De Lepeleire, J., Van Hout, H., Kenny, G., Lewis, A. and Vernnoij-Dassen, M. (2005). Understanding obstacles to the recognition of and response to dementia in different European countries: a modified focus group approach using multinational, multidisciplinary expert groups. Aging and Mental Health, 9, 16.
Kaiser, H. (1974). An index of factor simplicity. Psychometrika, 3, 3136.
Lauber, C., Nordt, C., Braunschweigh, C. and Rossler, W. (2006). Do mental health professionals stigmatize their patients? Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavia, 113 (Suppl. 429), 5159.
Nordt, C., Rossler, W. and Lauber, C. H. (2006). Attitudes of mental health professionals toward people with schizophrenia and major depression. Schizophrenia Bulletin, 32, 709714.
Solomon, P. R. and Murphy, C. A. (2005). Should we screen for Alzheimer's disease? A review of the evidence for and against screening for Alzheimer's disease in primary care practice. Geriatrics, 60 (11), 2631.
Turner, S. et al. (2004). General practitioners' knowledge, confidence and attitudes in the diagnosis and management of dementia. Age and Ageing, 33, 461467.
van Hout, H., Vernooij-Dassen, M., Bakker, K., Blom, M. and Grol, R. (2000). General practitioners on dementia: tasks, practices and obstacles. Patient Education and Counseling, 39, 219225.
Veloski, J., Tai, S., Evans, A. and Nash, D. B. (2005). Clinical vignette-based surveys: a tool for assessing physician practice variation. American Journal of Medical Quality, 20, 151157.
Vernooij-Dassen, M. J. et al. (2005). Factors affecting timely recognition and diagnosis of dementia across Europe: from awareness to stigma. International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, 20, 377386.
Weiner, B., Perry, R. P. and Magnusson, J. (1988). An attributional analysis of reactions to stigmas. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 55, 738748.
Werner, P. (2003). Knowledge about symptoms of Alzheimer's disease: correlates and relationship to help-seeking behavior. International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, 18, 10291036.
Werner, P. (2004). Beliefs about memory problems and help seeking in elderly persons: a qualitative analysis. Clinical Gerontologist, 27 (4), 1930.
Werner, P. (2005). Social distance towards a person with Alzheimer's disease. International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, 20, 182188.
Werner, P. (2007). Family physicians' preferences for the treatment of a person with Alzheimer's disease. American Journal of Alzheimer's Disease, 21, 403410.
Wilkinson, D., Stave, C., Keohane, D. and Vincenzino, O. (2004). The role of general practitioners in the diagnosis and treatment of Alzheimer's disease: a multinational survey. Journal of Internal Medical Research, 32, 149159.
Wilkinson, D., Sganga, A., Stave, C. and O'Connell, B. (2005). Implications of the Facing Dementia Survey for health care professionals across Europe. International Journal of Clinical Practice, 59 (Suppl. 146), 2731.

Keywords

Related content

Powered by UNSILO

Discriminatory behavior of family physicians toward a person with Alzheimer's disease

  • Perla Werner (a1) and Shmuel M. Giveon (a2)

Metrics

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed.