The disclosure of an unfavourable diagnosis, such as dementia, represents an extremely delicate moment in clinical practice. The principle of the patient’s right to know the medical facts in full and likely therapy and prognosis are juxtaposed with the coexisting need to avoid creating further suffering to the patient. In dementia, and in particular in Alzheimer’s disease, as well as care, the situation is complicated by the fact that the patient’s independence and awareness is limited due to cognitive and behavioural impairment, which determine a reduction in the ability of the patient to make decisions. What, how, when and how much disclosure is more complicated in AD then in other pathologies with unfavourable prognosis. There is no shortage of international and Italian publications which develop consolidated guidelines taking diagnostic, therapeutic, ethical-deontological and medico-legal aspects, connected to the disclosure of dementia, into account.
Keywords: Disclosing diagnosis, Alzheimer’s disease, family members, caregivers
Stefano Zago, Rita Pezzati, Laura Carelli, Barbara Poletti, Disclosing the diagnosis of alzheimer’s disease: clinical and ethico-legal aspects in "RICERCHE DI PSICOLOGIA " 2-3/2012, pp. 501-523, DOI:10.3280/RIP2012-002023