African American caregivers: An exploration of pathways and barriers to a diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease for a family member with dementia

Travonia Hughes, Kenneth Tyler, Deborah Danner, Adah Carter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations

Abstract

Despite the significance of an early diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease (AD), African Americans are diagnosed in later stages of the disease and present with greater cognitive impairment at the time of diagnosis when compared to Euro-Americans. To this end, there exists a paucity of research on diagnostic pathways among African Americans with dementia. More specifically, few studies have explored help-seeking pathways from the initial manifestation of symptoms until an actual diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease was received from the perspective of African American caregivers. Thus, the present study examined the retrospective experiences of 17 African American caregivers who were given a diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease for a family member with dementia. Participants completed face-to-face semi-structured interviews. Study findings revealed a complex interplay between the patient with dementia, entities that comprise their social support network, and clinicians.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)95-116
Number of pages22
JournalDementia
Volume8
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 2009

Keywords

  • African American caregivers
  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Dementia
  • Help-seeking behavior

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Social Sciences (all)

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