People from ethnic minorities with dementia and their families are highly underrepresented in both dementia diagnostic and post-diagnostic services. Internationally, a growing number of studies point at cultural, language and structural barriers for participating in these services, e.g. language barriers, stigma associated with dementia, higher family involvement and responsibility in dementia care, and a general lack of culture-sensitive dementia services. However, in the Danish context these issues have generally not been addressed.
The CLEAR study aims to investigate barriers and facilitators for the uptake of dementia services to design culture-sensitive psychosocial interventions and models for rehabilitation that meet the special needs of people from ethnic minorities with dementia and their families, and how these can be successfully implemented in existing dementia services.
Culture-sensitive psychosocial interventions
The CLEAR study builds on national networks of dementia coordinators, and cultural link workers that are employed in all the main municipalities.
In Denmark, post-diagnostic support is generally coordinated by dementia coordinators without any specific cross-cultural competence. Cultural link workers have no specific dementia expertise but have in-depth knowledge about their own cultural backgrounds as well as general knowledge about the Danish healthcare system.
By providing cultural link workers with basic knowledge about dementia and available services, they will be able to disseminate this knowledge to the ethnic community in a language- and culture-sensitive way and work on reducing stigma. In addition, they will be able to act as cultural mediators between the families and dementia coordinators when planning individualized psychosocial support and rehabilitation.