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Symptoms of communication breakdown in dementia: carers' perceptions

Powell, Jennie, Hale, Mark A. and Bayer, Antony James 1995. Symptoms of communication breakdown in dementia: carers' perceptions. International Journal of Language & Communication Disorders 30 (1) , pp. 67-75. 10.3109/13682829509031323

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The breakdown of applied communication skills associated with the cognitive–communication deficit of dementia is poorly documented, as is carers' awareness of the nature of the problems. This study considered 32 symptoms which may be associated with breakdown of communication. Perceptions of these symptoms by carers of 79 community-living dementia patients were compared with perceptions of family/close friends of a comparable group of 76 control subjects. Communication skills of dementia patients were perceived to be significantly more impaired than those of control subjects. Areas of greatest discrepancy between performance of dementia and control groups included ‘Asking the same question a number of times', ‘Difficulty following conversation when a group of people are talking’, ‘Trouble keeping a conversation going’ and ‘Struggling to think of the names of people and places’. Eleven of the 32 symptoms were reported as occurring ‘fairly often’, ‘usually’ or ‘always’ in at least 50% of the dementia patients. Identification of specific factors likely to contribute to breakdown of communication in dementia will enable involved professionals to guide carers towards a better understanding of the problems. This should help to alleviate domestic stress thereby enhancing the quality of life of patients and their carers.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Medicine
Subjects: R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
Uncontrolled Keywords: communication; breakdown; dementia; carers
Publisher: Wiley
ISSN: 1460-6984
Last Modified: 10 Oct 2017 15:13

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