Emotional reactions of Arab lay persons to a person with Alzheimer's disease

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Aims: To assess emotional reactions of Israeli Arab people to persons with Alzheimer's Disease (AD) and assess the associations of perceptions of threat of AD, personal experience with AD and socio-demographic characteristics with emotional reactions to persons with AD. Method: A total of 170 Israeli Arab adults, aged 40-85, were interviewed in person by the vignette methodology for their emotional reactions to people with AD, an issue not yet studied in this population. Their perceptions of dangerousness of persons with AD to themselves and to others, familiarity with the disease and perceptions of personal threat were also probed. Results: Four dimensions of emotional reactions to a person with AD emerged: anxiety, aggressiveness, prosocial reactions and rejection. More positive than negative emotions were expressed. Levels of education and religiosity, and perceived dangerousness of the person with AD to others, were the main factors associated with emotional reactions. Conclusions: Culturally based educational programs should be developed to increase knowledge and reduce negative reactions, thus increasing the wellbeing of AD sufferers and their families.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)31-37
Number of pages7
JournalAging and Mental Health
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2009


  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Arab lay persons
  • Emotional reactions

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Gerontology
  • Psychiatric Mental Health


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