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Samborondón, Ecuador

Penaherrera-Oviedo C.A.,Catholic University of Santiago de Guayaquil | Moreno-Zambrano D.,Catholic University of Santiago de Guayaquil | Duarte-Martinez M.C.,Catholic University of Santiago de Guayaquil | Jurado M.B.,Hospital Clinica Kennedy Samborondon | And 3 more authors.
Revista Ecuatoriana de Neurologia | Year: 2014

Background: Dementia is a clinical condition that causes progressive cognitive impairment, and early diagnosis may have a significant impact on the quality of life. So far, no studies have been conducted to evaluate the conception of the general population about this disease. Methods: Cross-sectional, descriptive and analytical study, which surveyed individuals between 55 and 65 years old without neurocognitive pathology about the concept of the term "dementia". The educational level of each respondent was also collected. The responses were assigned to one of 6 possible response groups for analysis, depending on which group better matched each individual response. The percentage of each type of response was calculated, and chi-square was used to observe the relationship between level of education and the type of answers given. Results: a total of 274 individuals were surveyed, 35.8% were male and 64.2% female. Most patients (36.5%) had only elementary education. 11.7% did not know what dementia means. 45.5% defined it as memory loss and 23% incorrectly identified it as a psychiatric illness. A very small percentage of individuals correctly defined it as a type of cognitive impairment. We found a statistically significant relationship between the level of education and the type of answers obtained (p <0.001). Discussion: more than half of respondents gave an acceptably correct answer about the concept of dementia, but there is still a significant percentage of people who do not know its meaning, or confuse it with psychiatric illness. It is imperative to carry out health campaigns to alert people about this disease and how to delay it's onset by lowering risk factors, and to train as well primary care physicians to provide better information to their patients in order to improve the prevention of dementia and lessen its impact on quality of life.

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