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Title: Lay knowledge and beliefs towards dementia: A study amongst black Africans living in London
Authors: Mokwenye, Raphael Chinedu
Advisors: Martin, W
Nelson-Becker, H
Keywords: Culture;Anthropology;Alzheimer’s disease;Spirituality;Stigma
Issue Date: 2023
Publisher: Brunel University London
Abstract: By 2025, dementia will affect over one million people in the UK. Many Black Africans live in the UK, and more than 850,000 people live with dementia in the UK. More than 25,000 people with dementia are from Black and minority ethnic groups. However, the dementia studies amongst Black Africans in the UK lack theory and empirical evidence, with limited research into Black Africans’ ideas, meanings, and views. The previous data often did not separate the findings of the Africans from the Caribbean people. Therefore, the current research is an in-depth study exploring lay knowledge and beliefs about dementia amongst the Black African populations living in London. Overall, the study uses qualitative research design and methods to understand the lay concepts of dementia, perceptions of dementia risk factors, dementia help-seeking and caregiving, or treatment of people with dementia amongst the Black African populations living in London. The research is philosophically underpinned by social constructionism and sociological and anthropological lay concepts of health and illness. To generate rich data, the researcher interviewed 31 adult respondents, male and female, who identified as laypeople from the Black African community in London. The sample comprised first-generation migrants from West Africa and were churchgoers in the UK. The study utilised thematic data analysis informed by a grounded theory approach. The findings show that dementia is a complex phenomenon, and the researcher developed four key themes: social identity/sociocultural model, disease and illness, help-seeking, and caregiving. This study added witchcraft to the dementia literature and provided recommendations for policy and practice. The study concluded that the Black Africans living in London predominately do not lack knowledge of dementia. Still, more work is needed to enhance dementia awareness within the Black African population in the UK. This can be achieved through educational and training programmes aimed at reducing the stigma associated with dementia and improving outreach efforts to better support the Black community in dealing with dementia-related issues. This study recommended collaboration between medical doctors, community leaders, and applied medical anthropologists in dementia practice to help resolve the dementia stigma and dementia health disparity.
Description: This thesis was submitted for the award of Doctor of Philosophy and was awarded by Brunel University London
Appears in Collections:Dept of Health Sciences Theses

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