Dementia and Relationships: Experiences of Partners in Minority Ethnic Communities

Julia Botsford, Charlotte Clarke, Catherine E Gibb

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Aim.  This article is a report of a study aimed at examining the experiences of partners of people with dementia in two minority ethnic communities.

Background.  Cultural background is important in how people perceive the effects of dementia and respond to them. To date there has been little research on the experiences of minority ethnic partners in the UK.

Method.  Using a constructivist grounded theory approach data collection took place in London, England, over an 18-month period between 2007 and 2009. A total of 43 in-depth interviews were conducted with seven Greek Cypriot and six African Caribbean partners of people with dementia.

Findings.  The outcomes of the study revealed partners of people with dementia engaged in an ongoing process of ‘redefining relationships’. Greek Cypriot partners tended to emphasize family relationships whilst African Caribbean partners tended to view themselves primarily as an individual or as part of a couple.

Conclusion.  Increased understanding of how dementia is experienced by partners of people from specific ethnic groups with dementia can equip nurses to give culturally appropriate advice and support. The study findings suggest that ethnicity alone cannot account for individual responses to dementia in a partner, and therefore awareness of cultural factors needs to be balanced with sensitivity to the unique life experience and relationships of the individuals.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2207–2217
JournalJournal of Advanced Nursing
Issue number10
Early online date11 Dec 2011
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2012

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • carers
  • dementia
  • ethnicity
  • family care
  • grounded theory
  • nursing


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