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Does awareness of condition help people with mild-to-moderate dementia to live well? Findings from the IDEAL programme

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

in collaboration with the IDEAL programme research team

Original languageEnglish
Article number511
JournalBMC Geriatrics
Issue number1
PublishedDec 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information: We would like to acknowledge the support of the following research networks: NIHR Dementias and Neurodegeneration Specialty (DeNDRoN) in England, the Scottish Dementia Clinical Research Network (SDCRN) and Health and Care Research Wales. We gratefully acknowledge the local principal investigators and researchers involved in participant recruitment and assessment within these networks. We are grateful to the IDEAL study participants for their participation in the study and to members of the ALWAYs group and the Project Advisory Group for their support throughout the study. We would also like to thank Fiona Matthews for statistical advice. Funding Information: Improving the experience of Dementia and Enhancing Active Life: living well with dementia. The IDEAL study’ was funded jointly by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) through grant ES/L001853/2. Investigators: L. Clare, I.R. Jones, C. Victor, J.V. Hindle, R.W. Jones, M. Knapp, M. Kopelman, R. Litherland, A. Martyr, F.E. Matthews, R.G. Morris, S.M. Nelis, J.A. Pickett, C. Quinn, J. Rusted, J. Thom. ESRC is part of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI). ‘Improving the experience of Dementia and Enhancing Active Life: a longitudinal perspective on living well with dementia. The IDEAL-2 study’ is funded by Alzheimer’s Society, grant number 348, AS-PR2–16-001. Investigators: L. Clare, I.R. Jones, C. Victor, C. Ballard, A. Hillman, J.V. Hindle, J. Hughes, R.W. Jones, M. Knapp, R. Litherland, A. Martyr, F.E. Matthews, R.G. Morris, S.M. Nelis, C. Quinn, J. Rusted. L. Clare acknowledges support from the NIHR Applied Research Collaboration South-West Peninsula. The views expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of the ESRC, UKRI, NIHR, the Department of Health and Social Care, the National Health Service, or Alzheimer’s Society. The support of ESRC, NIHR and Alzheimer’s Society is gratefully acknowledged. Funding Information: This work was supported by an Alzheimer’s Society clinical training fellowship for CMA (grant number AS-CP-17-001) and forms part of a PhD supervised by Professor Linda Clare. Publisher Copyright: © 2021, The Author(s). Copyright: Copyright 2021 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.

King's Authors


Background: People living with dementia vary in awareness of their abilities. We explored awareness of the condition and diagnosis in people with mild-to-moderate dementia, and how this relates to quality of life, well-being, life satisfaction, and caregiver stress. Methods: This study was a cross-sectional exploratory analysis of data from the IDEAL cohort, which recruited people with dementia living at home and available caregivers from 29 research sites in Great Britain. Our study included 917 people with mild-to-moderate dementia and 755 carers. Low and high awareness groups were derived from self-reported responses to a dementia representation measure. Logistic regression was used to explore predictors of awareness of condition and diagnosis using demographic, cognitive, functional and psychological measures, and the relationship with quality of life, well-being and life satisfaction (‘living well’), and caregiver stress. Results: There were 83 people with low awareness of their condition. The remaining 834 people showed some awareness and 103 of these had high awareness of their condition and diagnosis. Psychosocial factors were stronger predictors of awareness than cognitive and functional ability. Those with higher awareness reported lower mood, and lower scores on indices of living well as well as lower optimism, self-efficacy and self-esteem. Low awareness was more likely in those aged 80y and above, and living in more socially deprived areas. No relationship was seen between caregiver stress and awareness. Conclusions: Awareness of the condition and diagnosis varies in people with mild-to-moderate dementia and is relevant to the capability to live well. Awareness should be considered in person-centered clinical care.

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