Dementia and the principle of autonomy

Araceli Teixidó

The team directed by Araceli Teixidó of the Hospital St. Jaume of Calella for the study: Anàlisi qualitativa del procés d'informació diagnòstica en pacients amb demència a la Corporació de Salut del Maresme i la Selva: s'ha d'incloure el malalt dement en el procés d'informació de la seva malaltia? (Dementia and the principle of autonomy. A qualitative analysis of the process of diagnostic information in patients with dementia with the Health Corporation of the Maresme and La Selva: Should patients with dementia be included in the information process regarding their illness?).

This study takes as its starting point the perception of medical staff regarding patients with dementia. After diagnosis, both the opinions held towards patients and the relationship with them usually changes.  To identify whether this perception fits with the reality, the study seeks to identify whether or not doctors envisage a diagnostic information process with dementia patients, as is the case with other serious illnesses, or whether they exclusively address the patient's relatives. In addition, the research also considers the position of relatives and of some patients.

The final objective is to identify the level of autonomy granted to the patient during the process, and whether this is related to the patient's actual level of capacity or if this is assumed to be non-existent as a result of the diagnosis.