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Research Grants - 2009


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Research Grants 2009


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2009 Grants - Hurwicz

Developing a Culturally Appropriate Measure of Alzheimer's Knowledge

Margo-Lea Hurwicz, Ph.D.
Curators of the University of Missouri
on Behalf of the University of Missouri—St Louis St. Louis, Missouri

2009 New Investigator Research Grant

Previous research has used qualitative and quantitative methods to assess caregivers' and non-caregivers' knowledge of Alzheimer's disease (AD) in European-American and African-American caregivers and non-caregivers. Open-ended interviews elicited knowledge of Alzheimer's by asking people to list symptoms, causes, treatments and preventions. An Alzheimer's Knowledge Measurement Instrument based on the open-ended responses was developed and administered to sixty-seven percent of the original participants to validate the results. When analyzed separately, caregivers knew more about Alzheimer's disease, and European-American caregivers had a better understanding of the disease compared to African-American caregivers. Results showed the need for health education programs targeted to the general public and increased support for African-American caregivers.

Margo-Lea Hurwicz, Ph.D. will test the Alzheimer's Knowledge Measurement Instrument on a larger, more representative sample of caregivers and non-caregivers in St. Louis. The proposed research tests whether asking the closed-ended questions of people who did not participate in their development produces consistent answers indicating the presence of underlying cultural models explaining Alzheimer's disease. The Alzheimer's Knowledge Measurement Instrument will be accompanied by a short background questionnaire including sociodemographic and caregiving questions.

This project aims to explain how people from different cultural backgrounds interpret and respond to late-life illness. The product will be a valid and reliable measurement instrument for assessing caregivers' and potential caregivers' cultural knowledge of Alzheimer's disease that can be used to improve the quality of both research and community outreach and service delivery.