Purpose of the Study: To explore cause and control illness representations in older adults with Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Design and Methods: Six older adults living in the North West of England completed semi-structured interviews that were subject to an interpretative phenomenological analysis. Results: Three main themes emerged indicating that participants were trying to make sense of their AD by comparing it with their previous experience of physical health illnesses. All participants acknowledged their diagnosis of AD but engaged with it in a graded way because of a lack of tangible diagnostic evidence. Participants developed pragmatic emotional responses to their situation. Implications: One of the main implications of the results is that caution needs to be exercised within clinical practice so that the pragmatic responses of individuals with AD are not pathologized.
SOURCE: Matchwick, C., Domone, R., Leroi, I., Simpson, J. “Perceptions of Cause and Control in People With Alzheimer’s Disease.” The Gerontologist (2014) 54(2): 268-276
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