20 Apr 2021
International journal of environmental research and public health;
Dementia represents a significant problem in the Middle East. Sociocultural and political factors that shape conceptions of health and care tend to stifle research and the dissemination of knowledge throughout the Middle East. These socio-political challenges concerning engagement with individuals living with dementia and their carers include language barriers, stigmatization, logistical constraints, lack of informal support outside of hospitals, and over-dependence on clinicians for dementia information. There is an urgent need in the Middle East to increase care and support for adults with dementia and their carers, enhance research efforts and improve the dissemination of information related to dementia in the region. One possible way to do so is to begin to promote a knowledge-based culture throughout the Middle East. This can be achieved by aligning traditional deterministic and spiritual perspectives of mental health with more Western, scientific, and evidence-based models. We suggest employing practical, multidimensional approaches to deal with the stated challenges, both at individual and societal levels. Doing so will improve knowledge of dementia and allow health and social care systems in the Middle East to begin to address a growing problem.