Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) in People Living with Dementia from Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Communities



The diagnosis of dementia is projected to have a three-fold increase in the next decade. Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) has equally risen in acceptance over the past decade in the management of chronic diseases. Culturally And Linguistically Diverse (CALD) communities have several traditional practices contrary to conventional medicine, which they apply in the management of dementia. A preliminary review over the last 10-15 years reflects the paucity of data addressing this topic. This research will explore the impact of CAM self-medication use in CALD populations living with dementia. A qualitative research method employing in-depth interviews will be carried out among individuals from three different CALD communities. Expected outcomes include; information on to the common types of CAM used, benefits or constraints of CAM use in coping with dementia, frequency of CAM use and factors that motivate CAM use among older adults. These findings will have significant implications for dementia health service providers and will serve as an evidence base to inform dementia-related policy making for CALD communities. Keywords- Ageing/elderly, Mental health, Health promotion, Minority/marginalised populations, Research/knowledge translation Key messages 1- Information on how the use of CAM self-medication may relate to and potentially hinder conventional medicine help-seeking 2- Evidence that cultural factors may have impacts on people living with dementia and their carers in terms of accessing services and decisions towards complementary and self-medication 3- Information on culturally-sensitive service needs and preferences among CALD communities


Josephine Agu

University of Technology Sydney (UTS)

Public Health Research Assistant for the Australian Research Centre in Complementary and Integrative Medicine (ARCCIM) at the University of Technology Sydney. A Higher Degree by Research student with a Master of Public Health (Epidemiology & Biostatistics major) currently undertaking a PhD which explores 'The use of Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) in People Living with Dementia from Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Populations'. Previously worked with not-for profit organisations in the monitoring and evaluation of hospital based sexual and reproductive health services and currently engaged as a board member for the United Nations Association of Australia Young Professionals.