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|Institution||Neuroscience Research Australia and Muru Marri Indigenous Health Unit, University of New South Wales|
This publication is a literature review concerning dementia in the Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population for the years 2006-2009. The review was undertaken as a result of an emerging public health concern for the increased prevalence of dementia in remote indigenous communities; in particular the data collected for the Kimberley region of Western Australia.
The literature reviewed established that: the prevalence of dementia in the Australian Indigenous population is five times the rate for the non-Indigenous population; dementia presents at an earlier age in the Indigenous population; the perception of dementia is different across communities and situations, it is often not viewed as a medical condition; the health and social conditions Indigenous people currently experience puts them at a greater risk of developing dementia compared to non-Indigenous people; and access to services are problematic due to a lack of transport and services which take into consideration language, cultural or other circumstances unique to Indigenous people and their communities.
The review demonstrates the importance of establishing a framework for addressing dementia in the Indigenous population that is culturally appropriate and within a historical context. The review highlights the gaps in knowledge pertaining to dementia in the Indigenous population.
Finally the report makes recommendations based on the findings of the literature review emphasising that research is needed on Indigenous people's understanding of dementia, the role of carers and the impact on their wellbeing, identification and assessment and best practice models of care and services.
Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet abstract