An Approach to Improve Dementia Health Literacy in Indigenous Communities

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Abstract

This project aims to improve health literacy in Indigenous communities through the development of evidence-based culturally relevant health promotion materials on dementia that bridge the gap between Indigenous and Western perspectives of the illness. The research team worked in partnership with Health Canada’s First Nations and Inuit Home and Community Care Program (FNIHCC) and consulted with Indigenous elders to utilize a two-eyed seeing framework that draws upon Indigenous knowledge and Western biomedicine. A consolidated review of materials and research involving Indigenous perspectives of Alzheimer’s and age-related dementias led to the development of two culturally appropriate fact sheets. Two Indigenous-specific fact sheets were developed “What is Dementia? Indigenous Perspectives and Cultural Understandings” and “Signs and Symptoms of Dementia: An Indigenous Guide.” The fact sheets prioritize Indigenous knowledge and pay particular attention to Indigenous languages, diverse Indigenous cultures, and literacy levels. The content uses phrasing and words from Indigenous people involved in the research to share information. Biomedical concepts and words were included when necessary but language or presentation of these aspects were often modified to reflect Indigenous conceptualizations. This project provides a foundation for evidence-based knowledge translation in relation to cultural safety in dementia care. Specifically, the researchers outline how health care providers can develop culturally appropriate health promotion material, thus increasing Indigenous cultural understandings of dementia and health literacy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)69-83
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Cross-Cultural Gerontology
Volume35
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by Health Canada, First Nations and Inuit Health, Home and Community Care, Contribution Grant (2015-2016 to KJ and WW); the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (Canadian Consortium on Neurodegeneration in Aging 137794, 2014 to KJ), the Canadian Nurses Foundation (2015 to SW). Foundational work was supported by the Ontario Mental Health Foundation (2009 to KJ and WW), and the Alzheimer’s Society of Canada (1640, 2015 to KJ and WW). This project was a collaborative effort that could not have been completed without the contributions of many people. We extend sincere thanks to all of the individuals and organizations in Sudbury, Thunder Bay, Ottawa, Six Nations, Moose Cree First Nation, and Manitoulin Island who contributed their time and expertise to this research. Our project team would also like to acknowledge the timeless contribution from Health Canada’s First Nations and Inuit Home and Community Care Program (FNIHCC) and the Centre for Rural and Northern Health Research. A special thank you to our many key informants including physicians and specialists providing services to seniors, and the traditional healers, knowledge keepers and Elders who shared their wisdom.

Funding Information:
This work was supported by Health Canada, First Nations and Inuit Health, Home and Community Care, Contribution Grant (2015-2016 to KJ and WW); the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (Canadian Consortium on Neurodegeneration in Aging 137794, 2014 to KJ), the Canadian Nurses Foundation (2015 to SW). Foundational work was supported by the Ontario Mental Health Foundation (2009 to KJ and WW), and the Alzheimer?s Society of Canada (1640, 2015 to KJ and WW). This project was a collaborative effort that could not have been completed without the contributions of many people. We extend sincere thanks to all of the individuals and organizations in Sudbury, Thunder Bay, Ottawa, Six Nations, Moose Cree First Nation, and Manitoulin Island who contributed their time and expertise to this research. Our project team would also like to acknowledge the timeless contribution from Health Canada?s First Nations and Inuit Home and Community Care Program (FNIHCC) and the Centre for Rural and Northern Health Research. A special thank you to our many key informants including physicians and specialists providing services to seniors, and the traditional healers, knowledge keepers and Elders who shared their wisdom.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019, The Author(s).

Keywords

  • Cultural safety
  • First Nations
  • Health promotion
  • Indigenous knowledge
  • Knowledge translation
  • Two-eyed seeing

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article

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