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What do Korean American immigrants know about Alzheimer's disease (AD)? The impact of acculturation and exposure to the disease on AD knowledge

TitleWhat do Korean American immigrants know about Alzheimer's disease (AD)? The impact of acculturation and exposure to the disease on AD knowledge
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2010
AuthorsLee, SE, Lee, HY, Diwan, S
JournalInt J Geriatr PsychiatryInt J Geriatr Psychiatry
Volume25
Pagination66-73
Date PublishedJan
ISBN Number1099-1166 (Electronic)<br/>0885-6230 (Linking)
Accession Number19551701
KeywordsAcculturation, Adult, Aged, Alzheimer Disease/ethnology/ psychology, Asian Americans/ psychology, Awareness, Emigrants and Immigrants/ psychology, Female, Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice, Humans, Korea/ethnology, Male, Middle Aged, Questionnaires, Social Stigma, United States
AbstractOBJECTIVE: The present study examined knowledge of Alzheimer's disease (AD) and factors related to the disease knowledge among Korean American immigrants. METHODS: Two-hundred and nine middle-aged and older Korean American immigrants completed a self-administered questionnaire. RESULTS: Korean American immigrants had strong stigma about AD and interpreted the disease as a form of insanity. They considered memory loss and AD as a part of the aging process. They seriously lacked knowledge about the treatment, diagnosis and cause of AD. Those who were less acculturated and less exposed to AD were likely to have poorer AD knowledge. CONCLUSIONS: There is a need to expand AD education efforts among Korean American immigrants because the views of stigmatization and normalization of AD combined with certain Asian cultural norms can be barriers to early recognition and intervention. Our study suggests knowledge areas of concentration in AD education and a segment of the population that AD education should target. Further research on symptom knowledge by the disease stages and causal beliefs is needed to better understand the existing views about AD in Korean American immigrants.
Ethno Med: