Does dementia have a silver lining?: Positive life experiences following a diagnosis.

Shoshana Bardach, C Moore, S.D. Holmes, R. Murphy, Allison Gibson, Gregory Jicha

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Given the stigma and fear associated with Alzheimer’s disease (AD), many presume the diagnosis of AD or mild cognitive impairment (MCI) to be a negative experience. Aims: To assess the psychological impact of a diagnosis of MCI or early dementia on positive well-being. Methods: Individuals with a diagnosis of MCI or AD were mailed surveys with the Silver-Lining Questionnaire. Results: Completed surveys were returned from 38 individuals and were analyzed in relation to demographic and cognitive data. All respondents reported at least one positive response to diagnosis, with just over a quarter reporting positive responses to at least half of the items. Discussion: Positivity was not significantly related to any of the demographic or cognitive variables examined. Conclusions: These results suggest the importance of diagnostic disclosure and the need for additional research to better understand how to maximize the likelihood of a positive responses and support healthy behaviors and future care planning.
Original languageAmerican English
JournalOBM Geriatrics
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2018


  • dementia diagnosis
  • Positive health outcomes
  • positive outlook
  • diagnosis
  • disclosure
  • care planning


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