Caregivers in China: Knowledge of Mild Cognitive Impairment

Baozhen Dai, Zongfu Mao, John Mei, Sue Levkoff, Huali Wang, Misty Pacheco, Bei Wu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study aimed to examine the experience and knowledge of mild cognitive impairment (MCI) among Chinese family caregivers of individuals with MCI. The sample was recruited from memory clinics in Zhongnan Hospital in Wuhan, China. In-depth semi-structured interviews were used. Thirteen family members of individuals diagnosed with MCI participated in the study. Data analysis revealed three themes: 1) initial recognition of cognitive decline; 2) experience of the diagnosis of MCI; 3) perception of cognitive decline as a normal part of aging. While family members recognized the serious consequences of memory loss (e.g. getting lost), they would typically not take their family members to see a doctor until something specific triggered their access to the medical care system. The Chinese traditional perception of dementia as part of normal aging may serve to lessen the stigma of individuals with MCI, while the term "laonian chidai" which literally translates to "stupid, demented elderly" may exacerbate the stigma associated with individuals with MCI. It is suggested that family members' worries may be relieved by improving their access to accurate knowledge of the disease, community-based and institutional care services, and culturally appropriately words are needed for MCI.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere53928
JournalPloS one
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 17 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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