Testing the ‘Faith Moves Mountains model’ to increase Alzheimer’s disease awareness, detection, and diagnosis among rural, racially, and ethnically diverse older adults

Lisa Kirk Wiese, Ishan C. Williams, Janet K. Holt, Christine L. Williams, Jennifer Lingler, James E. Galvin, Nancy E. Schoenberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objectives: Racially and ethnically diverse populations have recently contributed to the majority of rural and small-town growth. Consequently, the disproportionately high risk and prevalence of Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias (ADRD) among rural and minoritized older residents will likely increase. To address this threat, we tested the hypotheses that (1) a faith-based, resident-led approach would increase basic ADRD knowledge and diagnosis, and (2) older age, female gender, lower educational levels, and more years lived rural would predict number of referrals, new dementia diagnoses, and treatment. Methods: An adaptation of Schoenberg’s Faith Moves Mountains model, previously successful in detection and management of other chronic illnesses in rural settings, guided this community-based participatory research. Local faith community members were trained as research assistants to recruit, administer surveys, conduct brief memory assessments, teach brain health strategies, and follow-up with residents. Outreaches were offered virtually during the pandemic, then in-person monthly at rotating church sites, and repeated ∼1 year later. Results: This rural sample was racially and ethnically diverse (74.5% non-White), with 28% reporting eight or less years of formal education. Findings included that referrals and years lived rural were significant and positive predictors of new ADRD treatments [(b = 3.74, χ2(1, n = 235) = 13.01, p < 0.001); (b = 0.02, χ2(1, n = 235 = 3.93, p = 0.048)], respectively, regardless of participant characteristics. Conclusion: Resident-led action research in rural, diverse, faith communities is a successful approach to increasing ADRD disease knowledge, detection, diagnosis, and treatment.

Original languageEnglish
JournalAging and Mental Health
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.

Keywords

  • Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias
  • community-based participatory research
  • faith-based
  • racially and ethnically diverse
  • Rural

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatric Mental Health
  • Gerontology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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