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Open Access Learning to Live With Early Dementia Apprendre à vivre avec la démence aux stades précoces

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Much of the literature on early dementia is focused on caregiver perspectives, while little is known about the perspective of persons with early-stage dementia such as what it is like to live with this syndrome. This study was conducted to explore the process of learning to live with early-stage dementia. Interviews were conducted with 6 early-stage participants (3 men and 3 women) ranging in age from 61 to 79 years. Theory construction was facilitated using a qualitative approach and grounded theory. A preliminary theoretical framework was developed from the data which outlines a 5-stage process of learning to live with dementia that begins with various antecedents and proceeds through the stages of anticipation, appearance, assimilation, and acceptance. This process evolved as participants' awareness of themselves and their outer world changed. Ultimately, the findings of this study have several implications for clinicians and researchers working with persons in early-stage dementia.

Les études sur la démence précoce se concentrent en grande partie sur la perspective des prestataires de soins, si bien que l'on sait peu de choses sur l'expérience des personnes atteintes aux stades débutants. La présente étude a été conçue dans le but de découvrir comment elles apprenaient à vivre avec cette maladie durant cette période. On a mené des entrevues auprès de 6 participants (3 hommes et 3 femmes) âgés de 61 à 79 ans. On a élaboré un modèle théorique sur la base d'une approche qualitative et d'une théorie à base empirique. On a ensuite établi un cadre théorique préliminaire à partir des données obtenues : les sujets s'appr ivoisent à la démence selon un processus en cinq étapes, commençant avec les antécédents et se poursuivant avec les stades de l'anticipation, de l'apparition, de l'assimilation et de l'acceptation. Cette démarche évolue à mesure que la perception des sujets sur eux-mêmes et le monde extérieur se transforme. En définitive, les implications découlant de cette recherche sont nombreuses pour les cliniciens et les chercheurs qui interviennent auprès des personnes atteintes de démence aux stades précoces.

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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2009-03-01

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