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The impact of diagnostic disclosure in dementia: a qualitative case analysis

  • Els Derksen (a1), Myrra Vernooij-Dassen (a1), Freek Gillissen (a2), Marcel Olde-Rikkert (a3) and Philip Scheltens (a2)
  • DOI:
  • Published online: 01 April 2005

Objective: The aim of this study was to give an in-depth description of the impact of disclosure of the diagnosis of dementia on a patient and the patient's partner.

Methods: Grounded theory interview study.

Results: Analysis of the interviews revealed that disclosure had an impact on three key domains: awareness of dementia, interpersonal relationship and social relationships. Disclosure was perceived as a confirmation of the pre-test ideas of both patient and carer. Formal disclosure of dementia was especially relevant for the carer in reconsidering her response to the patient's changed behavior.

Discussion: Receiving the diagnosis of dementia can be considered as a crucial moment in the process of becoming aware of the changes in one's life. Moreover, disclosure marks a new phase in the process of caring by the caregiver.

Corresponding author
Correspondence should be addressed to: Els Derksen, Centre for Quality of Care Research 229 P.O. Box 9101, 6500 HB Nijmegen, The Netherlands. Phone: + 31 243615305. Fax + 31 24 3540166. E-mail
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International Psychogeriatrics
  • ISSN: 1041-6102
  • EISSN: 1741-203X
  • URL: /core/journals/international-psychogeriatrics
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