A cross-national study of dementia stigma among the general public in Israel and Australia
Background: Despite the increasing amount of research on dementia stigma, there is a dearth of cross-national studies conducted on this subject. This is surprising since the experience of stigma is closely associated to socio-cultural aspects.
Objective: The present study intended to expand knowledge about the impact of culture on dementia stigma by comparing the level and correlates of stigmatic beliefs about dementia among the general public in Israel and Australia.
Methods: A cross-sectional study using an online survey was conducted with two age-matched samples: 447 adults in Israel and 290 adults in Australia.
Results: Overall, dementia stigma was moderate in both countries. However, the level of dementia stigma was significantly higher in Australia than in Israel. Lower levels of subjective knowledge and higher levels of ageism were associated with increased levels of stigmatic beliefs in both countries. Gender was a significant correlate of dementia stigma, with male participants reporting higher levels of public stigma than women, although this gender difference was mainly driven by the Australian sample.
Conclusion: Our findings indicate that providing knowledge and decreasing ageist attitudes should be key considerations in dementia awareness and stigma reduction campaigns despite the cultural context. In addition, developing gender-specific messages should be considered as a way of improving the effects of such campaigns.
Publication titleJournal of Alzheimer's Disease
Department/SchoolWicking Dementia Research Education Centre
Place of publicationNetherlands
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