Phenomena of awareness in dementia: heterogeneity and its implications

Conscious Cogn. 2014 Apr;25:17-26. doi: 10.1016/j.concog.2014.01.008. Epub 2014 Feb 19.


Despite much research on the relationship between awareness and dementia little can be concluded concerning their relationship and the role of other factors. It is likely that studies capture different phenomena of awareness. This study aimed at identifying and delineating such variation by analysing data from three questionnaires obtained during the longitudinal study of awareness in 101 people with early-stage dementia. The data concerned awareness in relation to memory, activities of daily living and socio-emotional function. Significant differences in patterns of discrepancies were obtained. This suggests that the awareness phenomena involved were structurally different; and that, in turn, this may reflect variation in the intrinsic linking between awareness and its 'object' (different 'objects' determining different kinds of judgements). The identification of such differences is necessary so that appropriate methodologies can be applied to the study of awareness in different contexts.

Keywords: Awareness; Dementia; Discrepancy measures; Insight; Structure.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Activities of Daily Living
  • Alzheimer Disease / physiopathology
  • Alzheimer Disease / psychology*
  • Awareness / physiology*
  • Dementia / physiopathology
  • Dementia / psychology
  • Dementia, Vascular / physiopathology
  • Dementia, Vascular / psychology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Memory Disorders / physiopathology
  • Memory Disorders / psychology*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires