How Are Sociodemographic, Health, Psychological, and Cognitive Factors Associated with Dementia Worry? An Online Survey Study among Israeli and Australian Laypeople

Perla Werner, Sarang Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Dementia worry is a widespread phenomenon and the most common emotional reaction elicited by the threat of developing dementia in the future. The cultural factors of dementia worry have not been examined widely, although dementia can be perceived differently between cultures and lead to varying levels of dementia worry. The purpose of this study was to examine the level of dementia worry and factors associated with it cross-nationally in Israel and Australia. METHODS: A cross-sectional, online survey was conducted with two age-matched adult samples (447 participants in Israel and 290 in Australia). The primary outcome measure was the 12-item Dementia Worry Scale. RESULTS: Israeli participants (mean age = 42.5 years; 50.1% female) reported statistically significantly (p < 0.05) higher levels of concern about developing dementia in comparison to Australian participants (mean age = 43.7 years; 49.8% female). Increased ageism and increased perceptions about the likelihood of developing dementia were the most important factors associated with increased worry. CONCLUSIONS: Our findings suggest that country may not be the best criterion to assess cultural differences and should be accompanied by the participants' assessment of their cultural tendencies. Our study also stresses the importance of conceptualizing and assessing affective and cognitive aspects of dementia worry, as people from different cultures might perceive dementia worry cognitively differently but affectively similar and vice-versa.

Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Volume19
Issue number18
DOIs
StatePublished - 8 Sep 2022

Keywords

  • Australia
  • culture
  • dementia
  • emotions
  • Israel
  • worry

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pollution
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

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