Life-span perspective of personality in dementia

Ann M. Kolanowski, Ann L. Whall

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Purpose: To propose an alternative view of personality change in dementia by presenting existing evidence for the continuity of personality. Significance: As the population continues to age, dementing illnesses will account for a greater proportion of morbidity and mortality; the care of these people will have a significant effect on the health care system. Organizing Framework: Life-span perspective of personality continuity. Scope, Method: Review of current literature on personality in dementia using Medline, 1980 -1994; CINAHL, 1990-1994; and Psych Lit., 1980-1994. Findings: Although there are systematic shifts in personality with dementia, individuals tend to maintain their unique pattern of premorbid personality traits. Conclusions: The personalities of dementia patients seem to reflect adaptive patterns that served them in the past. Implications: Use of a life-span perspective can enhance individualized care for demented patients and advance theory development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)315-320
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Nursing Scholarship
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1996

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Nursing


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