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Do People With Dementia Experience Stigma? A Cross Country Comparison Between Italy, Poland and the UK

Lion, K.M., Szcześniak, D., Bulińska, K., Evans, Shirley ORCID:, Evans, Simon ORCID:, Saibene, F.L., d'Arma, A., Farina, E., Brooker, Dawn ORCID:, Chattat, R., Meiland, F.J.M., Dröes, R.M. and Rymaszewska, J. (2020) Do People With Dementia Experience Stigma? A Cross Country Comparison Between Italy, Poland and the UK. Aging & Mental Health, 24 (6). pp. 947-955. ISSN Print: 1360-7863, Online: 1364-6915

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Introduction: Until now little research has been done to answer the question of whether people with dementia experience stigma and if so how they experience this. Also, no previous studies were conducted into possible differences between countries and cultures regarding the experience of stigma in dementia.
Objectives: The aims of this study were to compare the experience of stigma (with social isolation, social rejection and internalised shame as components) among people with dementia (n=180) in three European countries: Italy, Poland and the United Kingdom (UK); and to investigate possible determinants in background characteristics, quality of life aspects, social support, mood and cognitive functioning.
Material and Methods: A one group multinational cross-sectional design was used. Stigma was measured with the Stigma Impact Scale (SIS).
Results: The results showed that people in the UK experience a higher level of stigmatisation than people in Italy and Poland. The experienced stigmatisation negatively correlated with obtained social support (DSSI; rho=-0.42, p=0.000) and quality of life aspects (QOL-AD; rho=-0.39, p=0.000). Positive correlations were found between experiencing stigma and negative mood (rho=0.28, p=0.0002). There was no significant correlation between level of cognitive functioning and stigmatisation (GDS, rho=0.02;p=0.98) although people rating their own memory lower reported a higher level of stigmatisation (QoL-AD, memory item; rho=-0.29; p=0.001).
Conclusion: There is a strong need for research into the individual experience of people with dementia across Europe and the world. This could help in providing support and care services that match their experience, needs, preferences; and designing well informed awareness campaigns based on their voice.

Item Type: Article
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Uncontrolled Discrete Keywords: dementia, stigma, awareness, shame, quality of life
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Divisions: College of Health, Life and Environmental Sciences > School of Allied Health and Community
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Depositing User: Simon Evans
Date Deposited: 23 Jan 2019 16:31
Last Modified: 18 Jun 2020 12:37

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