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What does dementia mean for Pacific communities in New Zealand?

36 months
Approved budget:
Dr Fuafiva Fa'alau
Associate Professor Vili Nosa
Dr John Sluyter
Dr Makarena Dudley
Dr Malakai Ofanoa
Mrs Mayor Pokino
Health issue:
Neurological (CNS)
Proposal type:
Pacific Health Project
Lay summary
There are no Pacific terms for dementia. The aging Pacific population will see a 2.5-fold increase in those aged 65+ by 2026. Along with aging, there will be more Pacific older people with dementia; however, Western cognition tools are not accurate and appropriate for assessing Pacific people's cognition problems. The findings from the Living with Dementia study suggested that Samoan and Tongan families have a limited understanding of dementia. The families who participated in the validation of the study were not able to complete the assessment tools due to the lengthy interviews and the culturally inappropriate questions. This project will use community engagement, talanoa, and fa'afaletui research methods to collate narratives, stories, and experiences about dementia. The overall aim is to use Pacific knowledge base to develop a Pacific-responsive screening and assessment tool to assist clinicians in the diagnosis of dementia.