Making sense of dementia : understanding amongst indigenous Australians

Garvey, Gail, Simmonds, Donna, Clements, Vanessa, O'Rourke, Peter, Sullivan, Karen A., Gorman, Don, Curnow, Vanessa, Wise, Susi, & Beattie, Elizabeth (2011) Making sense of dementia : understanding amongst indigenous Australians. International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, 26(6), pp. 649-656.

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Dementia is a growing health and social concern for all Australians. Whilst the prevalence of dementia amongst Australia's indigenous people is unclear, there is some evidence that dementia rates are five times that of the general Australian population. To date no studies have examined dementia knowledge levels in indigenous communities.

Purpose of the study: This paper aims to explore indigenous Australians' understanding, knowledge and misconceptions of dementia.

Design and methods: Hundered and seventy-four indigenous adults participated in a cross-sectional survey using a modified version of the Alzheimer's Disease Knowledge Test (ADK). The survey included demographic information, two open-ended questions and 20 multiple choice questions. Each ADK item was examined to identify responses that revealed commonly held correct beliefs, knowledge gaps and misconceptions.

Results: The overall level of understanding of dementia was poor. Younger participants were significantly more likely to have no knowledge of Alzheimer's Disease, whereas the other age groups were most likely to have at least some knowledge. It was also revealed that there are common misconceptions about Alzheimer's Disease held by both indigenous and non-indigenous communities.

Implications: Culturally appropriate awareness campaigns and targeted educational interventions need to be implemented to improve the general level of understanding of dementia in indigenous communities.

Impact and interest:

6 citations in Scopus
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6 citations in Web of Science®

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ID Code: 42755
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Disparities, Alzheimer's Disease, Survey Design
DOI: 10.1002/gps.2578
ISSN: 0885-6230
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > CLINICAL SCIENCES (110300)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES (170000) > COGNITIVE SCIENCE (170200)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > Schools > School of Nursing
Current > Schools > School of Psychology & Counselling
Copyright Owner:

© The Queensland University of Technology and The Queensland Institute of Medical Research, as represented by the Dementia Collaborative Research Centre: Carers and Consumers, 2009.

Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Deposited On: 13 Jul 2011 13:06
Last Modified: 03 Dec 2012 02:05

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