Family caregiver's perception of Alzheimer's disease and caregiving in Chinese culture

Baozhen Dai, Zongfu Mao, Bei Wu, Y. John Mei, Sue Levkoff, Huali Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

This study examined the perception of Alzheimer's disease (AD) and caregiving among family caregivers of individuals with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and AD in China. In-depth semistructured interviews were conducted with 46 family caregivers of individuals with cognitive impairment in 2009 in Wuhan and Beijing, China. Participants included 38 spouses, 7 adult children, and 1 sibling, aged between 41 and 85 years old. The findings showed that all family caregivers thought the Chinese terminology of AD laonian chidai, brought discrimination to individuals with cognitive impairment. Caregivers of individuals with AD experienced burden and desired an increase of formal services. Traditional beliefs of respecting elders and caring for extended family members were held among family caregivers of individuals with cognitive impairment, and there was nearly no difference found between caregivers of AD and those of MCI. It implied that traditional culture provided positive influences on caring for elders with cognitive impairment. An alternative term for MCI may contribute to further reducing the discrimination brought by the old Chinese terminology of AD laonian chidai. Development of formal services for elders with cognitive impairment may contribute to reducing caregivers' worries about future caregiving.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)185-196
Number of pages12
JournalSocial Work in Public Health
Volume30
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 23 2015

Keywords

  • China
  • Cognitive impairment
  • culture
  • dementia
  • elderly
  • family caregiver

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Health Policy
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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