Challenges and Research Priorities for Dementia Care in Malaysia from the Perspective of Health and Allied Health Professionals
Tan, Maw Pin
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Rosli, R., Goodson, M., Tan, M.P., Mohan, D., Reidpath, D., Allotey, P., Kamaruzzaman, S., Chin, A.-V. and Robinson, L. (2021) ‘Challenges and research priorities for dementia care in Malaysia from the perspective of health and allied health professionals’, International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 18(21), p. 11010. Available at: https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph182111010.
Few studies to date have evaluated dementia care in Malaysia, and the focus of studies has primarily been on epidemiological and laboratory research. In this study, we aimed to identify potential challenges for the delivery of dementia care in Malaysia and priorities for research and enhancing existing dementia care. This study used thematic analysis to evaluate the open and focus group workshop discussions guided by semi-structured questions. Triangulation of the collected data (sticky notes, collated field notes, and transcripts of discussions) was achieved through stakeholder consensus agreement during a workshop held in 2017. Five main themes as priorities for dementia care were identified: (1) availability of a valued multi-disciplinary care service, (2) accessibility of training to provide awareness, (3) the functionality of the governance in establishing regulation and policy to empower care services, (4) perceived availability and accessibility of research data, and (5) influence of cultural uniqueness. The findings of this study seek to enhance existing dementia care in Malaysia but have potential application for other low and middle-income countries with a similar social and health care set up. The constructed relationship between themes also tries to tackle the challenges in a more efficient and effective manner, as none of these aforementioned issues are standalone challenges. In addition, we demonstrated how a carefully constructed workshop with defined aims and objectives can provide a useful analysis tool to evaluate health and social care challenges in a multidisciplinary forum.