Lay perceptions regarding the competence of persons with Alzheimer's disease

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Objective: The aim of the present study was to assess lay persons' perceptions about the competence of a person with AD and its relationship to social distance. Methods: Face-to-face interviews were conducted with a total of 206 Jewish Israeli adults (mean age = 59.7) using an experimental vignette methodology, varying in the severity of the disease. Participants were requested to rate the competence of the person described in the vignette in the areas of driving, health-decision making, financial decisions, and the performance of instrumental activities of daily living. Results: Results of the study showed that lay persons are able to make a distinction between different types of competence, and that their perceptions about competence affect greatly their behavioral discrimination toward a person with AD. Conclusions: Findings of this study stress the importance of clarifying the concept of competence among the lay public, in order to reduce the stigmatization of persons with Alzheimer's disease.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)674-680
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2006


  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Competence
  • Social distance
  • Stigma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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