A more nuanced perception of Alzheimer

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Involved researchers: Baldwin Van Gorp, Tom Vercruysse & Jan Van den Bulck

‘Towards a more nuanced perception of Alzheimer’s disease: Designing and testing a campaign advertisement’ was published in American Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease and other Dementias.

Starting point of this study was the assumption that Alzheimer’s disease is made worse for the person who has the disease by the negative regard in which the illness is held by society. The aim was to test by means of a campaign advertisement whether more nuanced counterframes could have an impact while remaining credible and comprehensible to the public. A sample of thousand people living in Belgium evaluated the campaign in an experimental design. This revealed that all the versions tested achieved a high average evaluation. The ad in which the heading referred to the fear of death and degeneration was judged to be most attention-grabbing, easier to understand, and more credible than the alternative heading with the idea that someone with Alzheimer’s could still enjoy playing cards. Together, these findings provided a basis for the use of counterframes to generating a more nuanced image of Alzheimer’s disease.

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