Perceived stigma in persons with early-stage dementia: Longitudinal findings: Part 1

Sandy C. Burgener, Kathleen Buckwalter, Yelena Perkhounkova, Megan F. Liu, Rebecca Riley, Carol J. Einhorn, Suzanne Fitzsimmons, Carolyn Hahn-Swanson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Citations (Scopus)


This longitudinal study examined perceived stigma in persons with dementia, with 50 persons with dementia, and 47 corresponding family caregivers. Data were collected at baseline and at 6, 12, and 18 months. Study results are reported in two parts, with findings regarding the stability of perceived stigma, measured using the modified Stigma Impact Scale, and relationship of stigma to person-centered variables being reported here. Findings included stability in perceived stigma, which did not show a downward trend until 18 months. Significant differences at baseline were found only for geographic location (rural vs. urban) with persons living in urban areas having higher levels of Stigma Impact Scale internalized shame compared to rural counterparts. Cognitive functioning was significantly, positively related to the Stigma Impact Scale social rejection and social isolation subscales. Findings support the enduring nature of perceived stigma over the early disease stages and the relationship of perceived stigma to some person-centered characteristics.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)589-608
Number of pages20
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Sept 1 2015


  • dementia
  • disease stage
  • living situation
  • person-centered characteristics
  • stigma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Social Sciences(all)


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