Moana Research is priviledged to be part of the University of Auckland Dementia study facilitating the Samoan project led by Dr Fuafiva Fa’alau of the Pacific Health section. This project is a collaboration with the University’s LiDiA Research team and Brain Research New Zealand CoRE.
Dementia is a progressive impairment of functioning involving multiple domains of cognition leading to deterioration in memory, thinking, behaviour and the ability to perform everyday activities. The effects of dementia on an individual and the psychological, social and economic impact on families can be devastating. Unfortunately, there is not much research done into the effects of dementia for our Pacific families in New Zealand.
Culturally appropriate and responsive services for dementia prevention, early diagnosis, treatment and management for the NZ population can only be developed if the extent and burden of dementia experienced by our Pacific peoples, is known. Accurate estimates of dementia prevalence in NZ and associated risk factors are critical to measuring the full impact of dementia. This information will help raise public awareness, reduce stigma, and inform policy development regarding implementing evidence-based support services for people with dementia and their families.
These issues will be adequately addressed in a community-based prevalence study that includes all the major ethnic groups in NZ. A final project will be submitted with findings in February 2020.