Dementia in the movies: the clinical picture
SourceAging & Mental Health, 18, 3, (2014), pp. 276-280
Article / Letter to editor
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Primary and Community Care
SW OZ BSI ON
Aging & Mental Health
SubjectRadboudumc 18: Healthcare improvement science RIHS: Radboud Institute for Health Sciences
Objectives: Visual media influence the general public's perceptions and attitudes regarding people with mental conditions. This qualitative study investigates the depiction accuracy of dementia's clinical features in motion pictures.Method: Using the search terms 'dementia', 'Alzheimer's disease' and 'senility' movies with release dates between January 2000 and March 2012 were sought on the Internet Movie Database. Based on four selection criteria 23 movies were included. Independently, three researchers watched all movies, scored symptoms, capacities, and behaviors. Scores were discussed and refined during consensus meetings, resulting in a taxonomy of clinical features.Results: Various features are found, most often cognitive symptoms. Behavioral features are also shown - retiring behavior more than agitation - and various emotions, but physical symptoms are rarely depicted. Capacities are infrequently presented and are unrealistic in several of the movies.Conclusion: The clinical picture of dementia portrayed in fictional movies is mild and may be misleading.
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