Alzheimer’s Association Reports Lack of Disclosure on Disease Diagnosis by Healthcare Providers

Alzheimer’s Association Reports Lack of Disclosure on Disease Diagnosis by Healthcare Providers
The diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease is vital for patients to plan their future, access proper healthcare services and make informed decisions regarding treatment options. However, the Alzheimer’s Association recently revealed in its 2015 Alzheimer's Disease Facts and Figures that many individuals are being deprived from an accurate diagnosis. In fact, it is estimated that only 45% of Alzheimer's disease patients or their caregivers were informed about the diagnosis by their doctor. “These disturbingly low disclosure rates in Alzheimer’s disease are reminiscent of rates seen for cancer in the 1950s and 60s, when even mention of the word cancer was taboo,” said the vice president of Constituent Services for the Alzheimer's Association Beth Kallmyer in a news release. The report found that nowadays, over 90% of the people diagnosed with cancer were informed about their diagnosis. The Alzheimer’s Association found that the diagnosis for Alzheimer’s disease was only communicated to the patients or caregivers at a more advanced stage of the disease. This can of course interfere with the patient’s ability to plan for future adequate care, financial issues and the fulfillment of life goals. “It is of utmost importance to respect people's autonomy, empower them to make their own decisions and acknowledge that people with Alzheimer's have every right to expect truthful discussions with their physicians,” noted Kallmyer. Health care providers have reported that the reason underlying this lack of disclosure on Alzheimer’s diagnosis is the fear of causing a patient emotional distress. Previous studies have, however, provided evidence that only a few patients experience depression or other emotional problems after being diagnosed. The report als
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