Quality of Life and the Experience of Living with Early-Stage Alzheimer's Disease
Alberto Villarejo-Galende 1 2 , Elena García-Arcelay 3 , Gerard Piñol-Ripoll 4 , Antonio Del Olmo-Rodríguez 5 , Félix Viñuela 6 , Mercè Boada 2 7 , Emilio Franco-Macías 8 , Almudena Ibañez de la Peña 9 , Mario Riverol 10 , Albert Puig-Pijoan 11 , Pedro Abizanda-Soler 12 , Rafael Arroyo 13 , Miquel Baquero-Toledo 14 , Inmaculada Feria-Vilar 15 , Mircea Balasa 16 , Ángel Berbel 17 , Eloy Rodríguez-Rodríguez 2 18 , Alba Vieira-Campos 19 , Guillermo García-Ribas 1 , Silvia Rodrigo-Herrero 1 , Ángeles Terrancle 3 , Daniel Prefasi 3 , Alberto Lleó 2 1 , Jorge Maurino 3
Background: There is a need to better understand the experience of patients living with Alzheimer's disease (AD) in the early stages.
Objective: The aim of the study was to evaluate the perception of quality of life in patients with early-stage AD.
Methods: A multicenter, non-interventional study was conducted including patients of 50-90 years of age with prodromal or mild AD, a Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) score ≥22, and a Clinical Dementia Rating-Global score (CDR-GS) of 0.5.-1.0. The Quality of Life in Alzheimer 's Disease (QoL-AD) questionnaire was used to assess health-related quality of life. A battery of self-report instruments was used to evaluate different psychological and behavioral domains. Associations between the QoL-AD and other outcome measures were analyzed using Spearman's rank correlations.
Results: A total of 149 patients were included. Mean age (SD) was 72.3 (7.0) years and mean disease duration was 1.4 (1.8) years. Mean MMSE score was 24.6 (2.1). The mean QoL-AD score was 37.9 (4.5). Eighty-three percent (n = 124) of patients had moderate-to-severe hopelessness, 22.1% (n = 33) had depressive symptoms, and 36.9% (n = 55) felt stigmatized. The quality of life showed a significant positive correlation with self-efficacy and negative correlations with depression, emotional and practical consequences, stigma, and hopelessness.
Conclusion: Stigma, depressive symptoms, and hopelessness are frequent scenarios in AD negatively impacting quality of life, even in a population with short disease duration and minimal cognitive impairment.