2021 Dr. Jerome Kaplan Outstanding Graduate Paper: Honorable Mention

Amanda M. MacNeil

Cleveland State University

Paper Title: “Understanding the Illness Experience of Veterans with Dementia: Key Areas to Consider and Their Relation to Depressive Symptoms”

Veterans with dementia are a growing population because of unique occupational-related factors, experiences and health comorbidities, are at an increased risk of developing depressive symptoms throughout their life. This paper stresses the importance and the ability of veterans with dementia to self-report upon aspects of their illness experience and is guided by a conceptual framework to look into five key areas of the illness experience: objective cognitive impairment, perceived memory difficulty, perceived functional difficulty, dyadic relationship strain, and depressive symptoms. This paper also assesses each of these areas and the relationships between them and as well as their impact on depressive symptoms in hopes to guide future work in understanding the illness experience of the unique population of veterans with dementia.



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