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 Michelle Eskinazi works as a research assistant for Camden and Islington NHS trust and the UCL Department of Psychiatry, where she is also currently a part-time master’s student on the MSC in Mental Health Sciences Research. Her research interests include digital psychiatry, social and cultural determinants of mental health and perinatal psychiatry. She is due to start core psychiatry training in August 2017 while continuing to pursue her research interests at UCL and completing her MSC.