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Ethnic differences in beliefs regarding Alzheimer disease among dementia family caregivers.

Gray HL, Jimenez DE, Cucciare MA, Tong HQ, Gallagher-Thompson D. Ethnic differences in beliefs regarding Alzheimer disease among dementia family caregivers. The American journal of geriatric psychiatry : official journal of the American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry. 2009 Nov 1; 17(11):925-33.

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OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to examine ethnic differences in female dementia family caregivers' knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs about Alzheimer disease (AD). METHODS: Baseline data were collected from 215 female caregivers before their participation in various psychoeducational intervention programs. Caregivers were questioned about the epidemiology, etiology, and treatment of AD. Logistic regressions and one-way analysis of variance were conducted to assess ethnic differences. RESULTS: Hispanic and Chinese caregivers were more likely to believe that AD is a normal part of aging and that AD can be diagnosed by a blood test than the white group. These beliefs about AD may delay help-seeking activities for these patients and their family caregivers. CONCLUSION: Increased public education about AD is needed in these communities. Results are discussed in terms of barriers to accessing information about AD and ways to improve public informational outreach activities, so that the intended audiences are reached more effectively.

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