Primary care physicians play a central role in the process of providing a timely diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Recent reviews reported that their lack of knowledge and stigmatic beliefs about the disease are important barriers to providing an adequate diagnosis and even affect physicians’ referral recommendations for help-seeking (HS). This topic however, has not been examined among medical students. Thus, the aim of this study was to examine Israeli medical students’ HS recommendations for a person with AD, and their associations with knowledge about the disease and stigmatic beliefs, including agism and AD stigma. A convenience sample of 142 six-year medical students completed a structured questionnaire (60% female; mean age = 25.8). Overall, regarding nonprofessional sources, the vast majority of the participants stated they would recommend seeking help from close family members and friends. Regarding medical sources, almost all the participants recommended seeking help from family physicians and neurologists. Results showed that AD stigma mediated the relationship between knowledge about AD and HS recommendations. Our results stress the importance of investing efforts during the training and socialization phases of future clinicians in order to improve the timely diagnosis of AD, placing special attention on AD stigma.
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ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Geriatrics and Gerontology