Attributional style and theory of mind in people with Alzheimer disease and persecutory delusions.

American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry

PubMedID: 23567389

Rowse G, McCarthy-Jones S, Knowles R, Corcoran R, Bentall RP. Attributional style and theory of mind in people with Alzheimer disease and persecutory delusions. Am J Geriatr Psychiatry. 2013;21(9):898-905.
OBJECTIVE
Between 7% and 40% of people with Alzheimer disease (AD) experience persecutory delusions (PDs) during the course of their dementia. Although attributional style and theory of mind processes have been linked with PDs in people with psychosis, they have not yet been examined in those with AD and PDs. The objective of this study was, hence, to explore the role of these cognitive processes in groups of participants with AD with and without PDs, as well as a nonclinical comparison group.

METHOD
Measures of attributional style and theory of mind were administered to three groups: people with AD and PDs (n = 22), people with AD without PDs (n = 22), and a nonclinical group (n = 23).

RESULTS
Although no clear differences in attributional style between the three groups were found, the group with AD and PDs were found to perform worse on the first-order (but not second-order) theory of mind task than the other two groups.

CONCLUSIONS
Interventions designed to enhance theory of mind skills might be beneficial for individuals with AD and PDs.