Stigma and its implications for dementia in South Africa: a multi-stakeholder exploratory study

Jacobs, Roxanne, Schneider, Marguerite, Farina, Nicolas, du Toit, Petra and Evans-Lacko, Sara (2022) Stigma and its implications for dementia in South Africa: a multi-stakeholder exploratory study. Ageing & Society. ISSN 0144-686X (Accepted)

[img] PDF - Accepted Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial No Derivatives.

Download (1MB)


Stigma and discrimination in relation to dementia has a range of implications for people living with dementia and their families worldwide, including help-seeking, quality of life, social rejection and isolation. Few studies consider the perceptions and stigma towards dementia from multiple perspectives, such as people living with dementia, carers, general public and healthcare workers. South Africa has limited evidence on the stigmatisation of people living with dementia, with responses to people living with dementia being driven by poor understanding of the condition, cultural beliefs about causes, and social interaction problems associated with memory- and cognitive impairment. This study explored the experiences of stigma among people living with dementia and their carers through understanding their own knowledge, attitudes and beliefs as well as those of the public and healthcare workers. Qualitative data (n=52) were collected across two provinces and in four languages (English, Afrikaans, Sesotho and isiZulu), with semi-structured interviews and focus groups with the following stakeholder groups: people living with dementia and their carers, the general public, and healthcare workers. Inductive thematic analysis generated themes across stakeholder groups. The study shows that people living with dementia and carers experienced high levels of internalised stigma, related to negative public attitudes, which were associated with high levels of isolation, health system unpreparedness and limited access to support. The study contributes to the evidence-base needed in South Africa but also extends its relevance by contributing to a growing global evidence base on stigma and dementia in low-and middle-income contexts.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: Brighton and Sussex Medical School > Neuroscience
SWORD Depositor: Mx Elements Account
Depositing User: Mx Elements Account
Date Deposited: 29 Apr 2022 09:45
Last Modified: 29 Apr 2022 09:45

View download statistics for this item

📧 Request an update