Community perceptions about dementia in southwestern Uganda [post]

2020 unpublished
With the increasing number of people surviving into older age in Africa, dementia is becoming a public health concern. Understanding the social dynamics of dementia in resource-limited settings is critical for developing effective interventions. We explored community perceptions about people with dementia in southwestern Uganda. Methods Fifty-nine individuals (aged 19-85 years, 56% female) participated in seven focus group discussions. In addition, 22 individual in-depth interviews were
more » ... d among individuals (aged 22-84 years, 36% female). Both interviews and focus group discussions were audio recorded, transcribed verbatim, and evaluated using a quantitative content analysis approach. Results Five themes were generated during content analysis: i) Labeling of the illness, ii) Presentation of the person with dementia, iii) Causation, iv) Impact of the disease on people with dementia and their caregivers and v) Views on how to address unmet needs in dementia care. Dementia was commonly referred to as " okuhuga " or "okwebwayebwa" (also, oruhuzyo/ empugye / akahuriko) which translates as "mental disorientation". The participants reported that most people with dementia presented with forgetfulness, defecating and urinating on themselves, wandering away from home, going out naked, and picking up garbage. Some participants perceived memory problems as a normal part of the aging process, while others attributed the cause of dementia to syphilis, cancer, allergy, old age, satanic powers, witchcraft, poor nutrition, or life stress. Participants reported multiple sources of stress for caregivers of people with dementia, including financial, social, and emotional burdens. Finally, participants suggested that community
doi:10.21203/rs.2.12246/v3 fatcat:pqxpibbibfcbpcxakg6wob2qb4