Factors Related to Different Objects of Awareness in Alzheimer Disease

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Abstract

Awareness of deficits is a multidimensional phenomenon described as the ability to acknowledge difficulties and impairments. We investigated whether unawareness affects distinct domains to different degrees and identified the factors related to the awareness impairment in Alzheimer Disease (AD). Using a cross-sectional design, we assessed 89 people with AD (PwAD) and their caregivers. Awareness was evaluated by scoring discrepant responses between PwAD and their caregivers across domains including cognitive functioning and health condition, functional activity impairments, emotional state, social functioning, and interpersonal relationships. The awareness of functional activity impairments domain showed a greater discrepancy compared with the other domains. Multiple regression analysis revealed that lack of awareness of cognitive functioning and health condition was related to PwAD unawareness of functional activity impairments, age, and caregiver burden. The emotional state domain was related to PwAD unawareness of functional activity impairments and depressive symptoms. There was also a relationship between the social functioning and relationships domain and caregiver burden. The functional activity impairments domain was related to deficits in the following domains: cognitive functioning and health condition, emotional state, social and emotional functioning, and PwAD self-reported quality of life. Although we observed that 1 domain can influence another, our results suggest that the factors related to each of the different objects of awareness are varied.

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