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Biopsychosocial factors associated with amyloid imaging for Alzheimer's disease

Hunsaker, Amanda E (2015) Biopsychosocial factors associated with amyloid imaging for Alzheimer's disease.

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Early detection of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) allows patients and families extended time for care planning, often facilitated by social workers. Detection methods are continually improving as research efforts focus on creating more reliable and valid diagnostic tests across dementia types. Imaging amyloid in the brain, a hallmark of AD, may allow for the detection of AD pathology before memory symptoms are noticeable, or at the earliest stages of illness. Although social workers provide critical support to patients and families throughout the diagnostic process and the progression of illness, social work research has yet to substantially address dementia diagnostic technologies and their potential to impact care management approaches.This dissertation explores what biopsychosocial factors, including demographic, cognition, health, and family-related factors, are associated with amyloid imaging (AI) research interest for AD, for those with varied levels of cognitive impairment, as well as for individuals with dementia (IWDs). Applying a biopsychosocial framework to the investigation of who seeks to use such technologies, and – possibly more importantly - who misses out, brings a social work perspective to this research area. Using a secondary data sample extracted from registry data of an Alzheimer Disease Center, multinomial logistic regression was used to model biopsychosocial factors associated with differing levels of AI research interest and participation. For the full sample, younger age, better cognition, and experience of cognitive diagnostic change were related to both AI interest and participation. For IWDs, absence of medical comorbidity and having a spousal or partner care relationship were associated with AI interest and participation. Participation in diagnostic disclosure, and the receipt of extended social work support, points to the critical role social workers may play in facilitating amyloid imaging research participation. Older age groups and those with more impaired cognition may benefit from tailored counseling approaches that address concerns and needs. For IWDs, medical comorbidity may create a barrier to seeking AI, while the significance of spousal and partner care relationships intimates that these care partners have more time to devote to AI. These findings support social work roles in multidisciplinary dementia care teams using AI, and enrich the content of AI counseling protocols by identifying participant-specific factors that impact AI participation.


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Item Type: Other
Status: Published
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Hunsaker, Amanda Eaeh30@pitt.eduAEH30
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairRosen, Danieldar15@pitt.eduDAR15
Committee MemberLingler, Jennifer Hlinglerj@pitt.eduLINGLERJ
Committee MemberEngel, RJrengel@pitt.eduRENGEL
Committee MemberTang, Fengyanfet7@pitt.eduFET7
Date: 22 December 2015
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 3 December 2015
Approval Date: 22 December 2015
Submission Date: 18 December 2015
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Social Work > Social Work
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: Alzheimer's, disease, amyloid, imaging, biopsychosocial, factors, diagnosis, research, participation
Date Deposited: 22 Dec 2015 14:28
Last Modified: 25 Aug 2017 04:58


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