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Perception and Recognition of Persons Suffering from Dementia

Part of the research-consortium 'Person and Dementia' in the program „Förderung von Forschung zu den ethischen, rechtlichen und sozialen Aspekten hochaktueller Fragen in den Lebenswissenschaften“ of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF)

The primary goal of the project is an empirical and ethical analysis of the personal abilities and characteristics that other people perceive as typical of dementia patients.

The project empirically investigates by means of focus groups what actions and interactions dementia patients are perceived to be capable of by different interaction partners (scientists, doctors, relatives and carers) and in different contexts and how these perceptions are formed. There will be a particular emphasis on identifying the rationales behind the different perceptions of capability and interaction ability. The overall aim of this investigation is to identify the interpretation schemata that people make use of in reference to dementia, how these schemata can be systematised and how they relate to the interaction abilities and capability for action ascribed to dementia patients.

This empirical investigation will provide a basis for an ethical analysis of the moral treatment of dementia patients, which will take a more in-depth approach to identifying the concrete moral abilities and needs persons with dementia. These will be used as the basis for assessing what types of interactions with persons suffering from dementia in the medical field, inside families and with respect to their care meet the criteria of being humane and sensitive, as well as respectful and fair.

Project Duration:2011-2014
Scientific project leaders: Cornelia Karger, Dipl.-Psych.
Jan-Hendrik Heinrichs, Dr. phil.
Research Scientist:Christian Roy-Pogodzik, M.A.
Project Partners:Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhems Universität
Heinrich-Heine Universität