Sikhs and Dementia: Cultural and Religious Constructions in This Minority Population
thesisposted on 10.01.2013, 15:48 by Gobinderjit Kaur Uppal
South Asians are at a greater risk of developing dementia due to also having a higher incidence of diabetes than the UK population as a whole (Department of Health, 2002). However little is known about this ethnic groups understanding of dementia. A review of the literature on the understanding of dementia in South Asian’s living in the community suggests that differences in the perceptions of the causes and treatment of dementia exist within South Asians. Further research has been suggested to explore minority groups within the umbrella term ‘South Asian’. NICE guidelines require treatment for dementia to be culturally, religiously and spiritually sensitive. However, the South Asian population is not an homogenous group, and there may be differences on what constitutes a sensitive approach for different sub-groups. This study sought to focus on one section, the Sikh community. A focus group design was used to explore how culture and religion influences the conceptualisation of dementia in the Sikh community. Six focus groups were undertaken, consisting of 28 participants and data was analysed using constant comparative methodology (Charmaz, 2006). Four themes emerged including awareness and interpretation of the characteristics of dementia, multiple perspectives of the same symptoms, cause of dementia and coping. The findings have been discussed in the context of existing research and provide an introductory insight into informing culturally appropriate interventions for dementia awareness in the Sikh community. The final section, the critical appraisal, reports an account of the researcher’s reflections throughout the research process.