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. 2010 Feb;20(2):159-69.
doi: 10.1177/1049732309358330.

Subjective Experience of Family Stigma as Reported by Children of Alzheimer's Disease Patients

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Subjective Experience of Family Stigma as Reported by Children of Alzheimer's Disease Patients

Perla Werner et al. Qual Health Res. .

Abstract

In this study we explored the subjective experience of family stigma as reported by children of persons with Alzheimer's disease (AD). Our data indicated that family stigma in the area of AD was primarily experienced in three dimensions: caregivers' stigma, lay public's stigma, and structural stigma. We found that in all these dimensions family stigma follows a process characterized by three core elements: cognitive attributions, emotional reactions, and behavioral responses. Findings of this study highlight the profound stigma confronting caregivers of persons with AD. What emerges is a poignant picture of adult children living with stigmatic beliefs while providing care for their parents with AD. We suggest that swift steps be taken to deal with these stigmatic beliefs. Mainly, structural discrimination must end if all citizens are to receive truly fair and equitable health care services and benefits.

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