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Dementia care in China: Challenges and recommendations

Background: In China, approximately 84.9% of people with dementia are cared for by family caregivers. Health professionals working in the departments where people with dementia are cared for in public tertiary hospitals are the primary sources to offer a formal diagnosis and treatment to people with dementia in China. Objective: The aim of this study was to explore family caregivers' expectations on dementia care, and the dementia knowledge and attitudes of health professionals in China. Method: Mixed method was used to collect data from April to December 2019. Surveys were used to evaluate health professionals' (n=603) dementia knowledge and attitudes in eleven public tertiary hospitals in Hebei Province in China. Semi-structured interviews were conducted in three public tertiary hospitals where family caregivers of people with dementia (n=21) were recruited. Result: The health professionals demonstrated limited knowledge of dementia and a low level of positive attitude. They expressed that it was challenging to communicate with people with dementia and to cope with their symptoms. Family caregivers reported that they received limited support from the community, hospital, and society and they held little hope of receiving such support. Most of the caregivers expected more financial support from the government, and more training in dementia care from health professionals. They also expressed their desire to have a professional caregiver in the nursing homes to provide optimal dementia care for their relatives. Conclusion: Health services in China are inadequately prepared to deal with the challenges of dementia care. More emphasis is needed on specialized education and training for caregivers and health professionals to improve their knowledge and to modify their attitudes. Family caregivers expected more support from the health system to enable improved care for people with dementia. An integrated health system for dementia care is needed in China. 

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Key Information

Type of Reference
Type of Work
Journal article
Alzheimer's Association
Publication Year
Journal Titles
Alzheimer's & dementia
Volume Number
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