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Intercultural Adaption of Person-Centred Communication for Dementia

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Tony Young



This is the authors' accepted manuscript of a conference proceedings (inc. abstract) published in its final definitive form in 2021. For re-use rights please refer to the publishers terms and conditions.


At health policy level in the global west, person-centred communication (PCC) is strongly advocated in health and social care contexts in general, and in the care of people living with dementia (PLWD) in particular. Conceptualisations of PCC are, however, under-theorised, and the extent to which it is applicable to care in different cultural contexts underexplored. The aim of this presentation is to: firstly to report on the development of DemTalk- a free, web-based PCC toolkit developed in the UK, and secondly, to discuss the adaptation of this tool for culturally and linguistically diverse (CLD) populations in Malaysia. The investigation began with the identification of communication needs and practices that included participation of PLWDs in a CLD community in Malaysia. Ethnographic exploration of interactions and discussions with the various stakeholders revealed that effective communication is crucial in maintaining social participation of the PLWDs and their quality of life. This informed the lingua-cultural adaptation of DemTalk. An adapted Malaysian English version was then translated into the three other widely-used local languages i.e. Malay, Mandarin and Tamil. The most significant implication of this study lies in its potential to guide further adaptations of the toolkit to meet the needs of other populations. This will be detailed and discussed.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Young TJ, Koran L

Publication type: Conference Proceedings (inc. Abstract)

Publication status: Published

Conference Name: Sociolinguistics Symposium 23

Year of Conference: 2021

Print publication date: 09/06/2021

Acceptance date: 24/02/2021

Date deposited: 10/01/2022

Series Title: The sociolinguistics of health and illness: Unsettling global ‘centres’ and ‘peripheries’ in health communication research