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Black African and Caribbean British Communities' Perceptions of Memory Problems: "We Don't Do Dementia."

Berwald, S; Roche, M; Adelman, S; Mukadam, N; Livingston, G; (2016) Black African and Caribbean British Communities' Perceptions of Memory Problems: "We Don't Do Dementia.". [Dataset]. PLoS One , 11 (4) , Article e0151878. 10.1371/journal.pone.0151878. Green open access

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Abstract

OBJECTIVES: We aimed to identify and explore the barriers to help-seeking for memory problems, specifically within UK Black African and Caribbean communities. METHOD: We purposively recruited participants from community groups and subsequent snowball sampling, to achieve a maximum variation sample and employed thematic analysis. Our qualitative semi-structured interviews used a vignette portraying a person with symptoms of dementia, and we asked what they or their family should do. We stopped recruiting when no new themes were arising. RESULTS AND SIGNIFICANCE: We recruited 50 people from a range of age groups, country of origin, time in the UK, religion and socio-economic background. Some of the barriers to presentation with dementia have been reported before, but others were specific to this group and newly identified. Many people recognised forgetfulness but neither that it could be indicative of dementia, nor the concept of dementia as applying to them. Dementia was viewed as a white person's illness. Participants felt there was little point in consulting a doctor for forgetfulness. Many thought that seeing a GP was only for severe problems. Some said that their culture was secretive and highly valued privacy of personal affairs and therefore did not want to discuss what they regarded as a private and stigmatising problem with a GP. Participants did not appreciate their GP could refer to memory services who have more time and expertise. They were concerned about harm from medication and compulsory institutionalisation. Care should be from the family. Any intervention should emphasise the legitimacy of seeing a doctor early for memory concerns, that dementia is a physical illness which also occurs in the Black community, that help and time are available from memory services whose role is to prolong independence and support families in caring.

Type: Article
Title: Black African and Caribbean British Communities' Perceptions of Memory Problems: "We Don't Do Dementia."
Location: United States
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0151878
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0151878
Language: English
Additional information: © 2016 Berwald et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Division of Psychiatry
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Division of Psychiatry > Mental Health of Older People
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1473099
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