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Conceptualisations of dementia in multi-ethnic communities

What we are doing:

We are exploring conceptualisations of dementia in multi-ethnic communities. As part of this exploration, we will also be investigating attitudes and beliefs about help seeking strategies in relation to diagnosis and accessing professional care support.

Why we are doing it:

The risk of developing dementia in African-Caribbean and Indian communities is raised compared to white British people. However, diagnosis in African-Caribbean and Indian communities is often at a late stage, when very little can be done to address the symptoms of dementia. It is thought the reasons for the delay are due to (black, minority ethic) BME communities conceptualising dementia as a natural consequence of ageing and therefore do not seek help. In addition, cultural beliefs about taking care of your own, mean that diagnosis is sought when the symptoms become more severe.

What the benefits will be:

This PhD will help to understand the factors and issues that influence conceptualisations as well as help seeking behaviour. This will assist with more informed and tailored strategies to raise awareness of the illness with BME communities as well as white British people. 

Who we are working with:

We have engaged with community and voluntary organisations to assist with the recruitment of participants of this project. We also arranged a meeting with Alzheimer’s Society to meet with a community development worker Pamela Campbell-Morris with a view to developing strategies to raise awareness of the illness in African and Caribbean communities. We also shared some preliminary findings of the white British focus group which led to the community organisation we were engaging with to write in some strategies to raise awareness of dementia in their local area. 


Naina Patel,