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Awareness of social and emotional functioning in people with early-stage dementia, and implications for carers

Nelis, Sharon M.; Clare, Linda; Martyr, Anthony; Markova, Ivana; Roth, Ilona; Woods, Robert T.; Whitaker, Christopher J. and Morris, Robin G. (2011). Awareness of social and emotional functioning in people with early-stage dementia, and implications for carers. Aging & Mental Health, 15(8) pp. 961–969.

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Objectives: This study explores the extent to which awareness of social and emotional function is reduced in earlystage dementia and whether this relates to the quality of life of the person with dementia (PwD), the quality of the relationship between the PwD and carer and carer stress.

Method: Ninety-seven participants with a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s, vascular or mixed dementia rated their social functioning using the Socio-Emotional Questionnaire (SEQ). Carers provided parallel ratings, allowing calculation of discrepancy scores used to index awareness. Neuropsychiatric symptoms, PwD quality of life, the perceived quality of the relationship for both partners and carer stress were also measured.

Results: Factor analysis of the SEQ indicated three domains of social functioning: emotional recognition and empathy (ERE), social relationships (SR) and prosocial behaviour (PB). For PwD unawareness was related to cognitive dysfunction and psychiatric disturbance, but not to quality of life or quality of relationship. Lower awareness was associated with greater carer stress and poorer perceived quality of relationship.

Conclusion: Lack of awareness of social functioning had important implications for relationship quality and levels of carer stress.

Item Type: Article
Copyright Holders: 2011 Taylor & Francis
ISSN: 1364-6915
Project Funding Details:
Funded Project NameProject IDFunding Body
Not SetNot SetESRC (Economic and Social Research Council)
Keywords: Alzheimer’s disease; vascular dementia; anosognosia; social cognition; participant-carer discrepancy
Academic Unit/School: Faculty of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) > Life, Health and Chemical Sciences
Faculty of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM)
Interdisciplinary Research Centre: Biomedical Research Network (BRN)
Related URLs:
Item ID: 29438
Depositing User: Ilona Roth
Date Deposited: 07 Sep 2011 15:39
Last Modified: 04 Oct 2016 11:05
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