Knowledge and Attitudes in Alzheimer’s Disease in a Cohort of Older African Americans and Caucasians

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Abstract

African American participation in Alzheimer’s disease (AD) research studies has been historically low. To determine whether older African Americans and Caucasians had different knowledge or attitudes related to AD, we administered the Alzheimer’s Disease Knowledge Scale (ADKS) to 67 older African Americans and 140 older caucasians in the greater Atlanta area as well as questions targeting locus of control over general health and AD risks. Older African Americans scored slightly lower on ADKS than older caucasians, with race only accounting for 1.57 (95% confidence interval [CI] 0.57-2.61, P < .001) points of difference in a multivariate model. Attitudes toward AD were also similar between the 2 groups but 1 (35.7%) in 3 adults reported control over general health but not AD risks. In addition to enhancing education content in outreach efforts, there is an urgent need to address the perception that future AD risks are beyond one’s own internal control.

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