10 July 2023

Three expert teams will share in almost $3.5 million in funding from Australia’s National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) to improve clinical pathways for the diagnosis, early intervention, treatment and management of dementia for people from diverse cultural, ethnic and linguistic backgrounds.

Addressing stigma around dementia in these communities, raising awareness of dementia risk reduction and boosting appropriate support for carers of people with dementia are among the aims of the funded research projects.

People from culturally and linguistically diverse communities, or specific cultural subgroups, may experience different patterns of disease and health risk factors as well as facing challenges with access to and use of services, according to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW). 

'Including patients from diverse cultural, ethnic and linguistic backgrounds and their families in dementia research is fundamentally important to understanding and responding to their specific needs,' says Professor Anne Kelso, NHMRC CEO.

'The results of the funded projects will deliver real change in the lives of these members of the Australian community by directly informing improvements to policy, programs and health services for people living with dementia.'

The aim of the Targeted Call for Research (TCR): Cultural, ethnic and linguistic diversity in dementia research 2022 grant opportunity is to develop strategies that engage people from culturally, ethnically and linguistically diverse backgrounds with dementia in research.

The funding announced today will provide:

  • More than $1.5 million for Professor Lee-Fay Low (University of Sydney) and collaborators to bring together multicultural community organisations, public health campaigners and researchers to co-design and deliver a community-based campaign to decrease stigma and increase help-seeking for dementia diagnosis
  • More than $400,000 for Dr Joyce Siette (Western Sydney University) and team to work with members of the community to develop health campaigns that will target dementia risk reduction awareness for Western Sydney's top three cultural communities of Arabic, Chinese and Vietnamese people
  • More than $1.5 million for Professor Lily Dongxia Xiao (Flinders University) and her team to design and evaluate a model of care to enhance culturally and linguistically compatible support for carers and improve their ability to manage dementia at home, relieving pressure on dementia care services.

This grant opportunity was initiated in response to a submission to NHMRC’s Community Research Priorities Portal, which allows consumers, community and professional groups to submit research topics that may warrant a dedicated funding call, in the form of a TCR.

A TCR is a one-time request for grant applications to address a specific health issue where there is a significant knowledge gap or unmet need.

Projects funded today listed in order of Application ID:
Chief Investigator Title Administrating Institution Budget
Dr Joyce Siette  Transforming inclusive multidomain dementia prevention lifestyle initiatives for culturally and linguistically diverse older Australians Western Sydney University $418,433
Professor Lee-Fay Low  A community based participatory approach to decreasing dementia stigma and increasing help-seeking University of Sydney $1,520,260
Professor Lily Dongxia Xiao  A ‘culturally tailored iSupport model’ for carers of people with dementia Flinders University $1,555,078
Total $3,493,771