Objectives: To examine levels of knowledge about dementia and attitudes towards dementia in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), identify sources to turn to for help, and explore the relationship between knowledge and attitudes.
Methods: This mixed methods study with both quantitative (a cross-sectional survey) and qualitative (focus group interviews) components was conducted in Cambodia, the Philippines, and Fiji in 2017-18. A survey was completed by the citizens of the three countries, and two focus group interviews were conducted in each country to generate a context-specific understanding of dementia literacy within the local LMIC setting. The quantitative component utilized the Alzheimer's Disease Knowledge Scale and the Dementia Attitude Scale, while knowledge, attitudes, and views on seeking help for dementia was discussed in the focus group interviews (qualitative component).
Results: A total of 476 participants completed the survey. Another 54 participants (39 females and 15 males) were invited to join six focus group interviews to express their views on dementia. Positive attitudes were noted despite the level of dementia knowledge was low. Families and religious figures were viewed as the sources for help. Controlling for demographics, country-specific predictors of positive attitudes towards dementia were found.
Conclusions: The involvement of family members and religious leaders in dementia education could enhance the recognition of dementia. Specific kinds of dementia knowledge should be targeted to educate the public in different countries.