“We don’t do dementia” identifying barriers to help-seeking for memory problems among Black African and Caribbean British communities.

CLAHRC researchers have heard first-hand perceptions and beliefs among Black adults that prevent them from approaching their GP when they have concerns about memory problems – an early indicator of dementia.

Focus groups and interviews revealed five main beliefs and perceptions preventing people’s seeking help for dementia:
• Forgetfulness is not indicative of dementia
• Dementia is not an illness affecting Black communities
• Memory problems are not important enough to seek medical help
• Fear of lifestyle changes
• Confidentiality, privacy and family duty

The study comprised semi-structured focus – groups and interviews, recruiting 50 participants across a range of age groups and socioeconomic backgrounds.

Dr Natalia Lewis

Dr Natalia Lewis is a Research Fellow at the Centre for Primary Care and Public Health, QMUL. She was trained as a physician and completed her PhD at the North-Western State Medical University, Russian Federation, investigating prevalence and associations of domestic violence and abuse among women patients attending Russian general practice. Her post-doc projects included longitudinal analysis of HPA axis functioning in abused women (CEASE study), evaluation of a training intervention for general practice on domestic violence and child safeguarding (RESPONDS study) and review of grey literature on interventions for children exposed to domestic violence and abuse (IMPROVE study). She is a member of the IRIS/ CLAHRC research team working on post-implementation evaluation of IRIS intervention in five northeast London boroughs (http://www.clahrc-norththames.nihr.ac.uk/iris/).