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2016 Grants - Meyer
A Culturally-Relevant Intervention to Reduce Dementia Caregiver Distress
Oanh Meyer, Ph.D.
University of California, Davis
2016 Mentored New Investigator Research Grant to Promote Diversity
Can Vietnamese-American dementia caregivers benefit from a culturally-relevant program that is designed to reduce stress and improve their health?
There is a need to develop caregiver programs that incorporate the unique cultural aspects of different ethnic groups. Vietnamese-Americans are the fourth largest Asian-American group, but little is known about dementia and dementia caregiving in this population. Compared with other Asian-American groups, Vietnamese-Americans tend to have lower socioeconomic status and experience poorer mental and physical health — factors that increase stress among caregivers for individuals with Alzheimer’s disease. However, most standard caregiving programs do not take into account the specific cultural needs of the Vietnamese-American population. Thus, they may not provide sufficient benefit for these caregivers or care recipients.
Oanh Meyer, Ph.D., and colleagues have begun developing a strategy to better assist Vietnamese-American dementia caregivers. This program focuses on improving general health by increasing access to health care and promoting Vietnamese cultural values, such as the maintenance of harmony between family members. For their research grant, the investigators plan to refine their program and test its effectiveness among local Vietnamese-American caregivers. They will also assess whether their strategy can improve the well-being of the care recipients with Alzheimer’s disease.
If successful, this study could offer a novel method for enhancing quality-of-life among dementia caregivers and for improving care practices in an underserved community. It could also lead to the development of culturally-tailored programs for other communities in need.