Recognition of and consultation for memory problems among South Asian elders: a literature review and face to face interviews to study explanatory models

Award Number
Research for Patient Benefit
Status / Stage
5 July 2011 -
3 December 2013
Duration (calculated)
02 years 04 months
Funding Amount
Funder/Grant study page
Contracted Centre
Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust
Principal Investigator
Professor David Challis
PI Contact
WHO Catergories
Tools and methodologies for interventions
Disease Type
Dementia (Unspecified)

CPEC Review Info
Reference ID160
ResearcherReside Team


Award NumberPB-PG-1208-18116
Status / StageCompleted
Start Date20110705
End Date20131203
Duration (calculated) 02 years 04 months
Funder/Grant study pageNIHR
Contracted CentreGreater Manchester Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust
Funding Amount£205,161.00


The proportion of South Asians (SA) elders, Indian and Pakistani being the largest two groups, in the United Kingdom is expected to rise over coming decades. Memory problems are not uncommon among older people but SA elders with memory problems often do not access health and social services. This may in part be a result of a lack of knowledge about causes and treatments of memory problems and stigma in SA community. Also, the lack of knowledge about cultural factors among health professionals may affect their ability to assess these problems among SA elders. These patient and doctor factors, together, may lead to under-diagnosis and under-treatment of two main causes of memory problems, depression and dementia. Aims The overall aim of this proposal is to improve our understanding of the factors that determine the recognition of and consultation for memory problems among SA elders. First, we aim to conduct a literature review to summarise current knowledge about why SA elders may not use their local services. Second, we aim to study explanatory models (EM) about causes and consequences of memory problems among Indian and Pakistani elders. We will compare EM between ethnic subgroups, those with and without memory problems, and those who use and do not use local services. We also aim to find out whether EM for memory problems are any different among middle aged SA people, who are often the gatekeepers for access to services and who themselves will form the next cohort of SA elders. Plan of Investigation First, we will conduct a literature review to summarise the factors that determine recognition of and consultation for memory problems among SA elders (first 6 months). Second, based on the literature review and development interviews, we will adapt and validate the Barts Explanatory Models Inventory self report Check list (BEMI-C) to suit the assessment of EMs for memory problems among 30 SA people (7-12 months). Third, we will interview further 150 SA participants to explore EMs for memory problems and preferred treatments. The participants will included approximately equal proportions from Indian and Pakistani communities, both with and without memory problems, those who did and did not consult their General Practitioners for their memory problems, and both middle age and older people. Potential Impact Older people from ethnic minorities, including those with memory problems, need accessible and appropriate NHS services (DH, 2001). Depression and dementia are major challenges to the NHS in terms of numbers affected and cost (NAO, 2007). The National Dementia Strategy (DH, 2009) recommends increasing public and professional awareness, improving early diagnosis, and the need for an informed and effective workforce. This research will help to understand factors that act as barriers to the use of local services, especially the views of SA elders about causes and consequences of memory problems. The dissemination of study findings may reduce stigma, encourage early recognition and consultation, and will inform the development of services (DH, 2001, standard 7.3).


Our proposal aims to clarify the reasons behind this under-use of services by conducting a lietrature review and interviews with SA participants to study their views about cause, consequences and treatment preferences regarding memory problems. We primarily need funds for a bilingual researcher for 24 months to conduct and coordinate the study.