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Healthcare for stigmatised groups: Intercultural adaptation of person-centred communication in dementia

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Tony Young



This is the authors' accepted manuscript of a conference proceedings (inc. abstract) that has been published in its final definitive form by ICLASP, 2022.

For re-use rights please refer to the publisher's terms and conditions.


At health policy level in the global west, person-centred communication (PCC) is strongly advocated for the care of people living with dementia (PLWD). PCC is, however, under-theorised, and the extent to which it is applicable to care in different, non-western cultural contexts underexplored. In conceptualising a PCC model, a series of iterative investigations were first carried out via observations of communicative practices and individual and focus group discussions on the communicative experiences of PLWD and families in the UK. This model (’DemTalk’) was specifically designed to be adaptable over time, and to different cultural populations. The second strand of investigation began with the identification of communication needs and practices that included participation of PLWD in different communities 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 led to the convergence of the two stands and set the agenda for the lingua-cultural adaptation of DemTalk. The nine core components of good communication practice in DemTalk were unanimously confirmed to be relevant in the chosen CLD community. Specific considerations were then given to the linguistic expressions used and cultural appropriacy of the communication advice presented in the toolkit. The adapted Malaysian English version was then translated into the three other most 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 lingua-cultural populations worldwide. This will be detailed and discussed. Authors and affiliations Tony Young is Professor of Applied Linguistics and Communication in the School of Education, Communication and Language Sciences at Newcastle University in the UK. Dr Leela Koran is a lecturer in the Faculty of Languages and Linguistics, at the University of Malaya in Malaysia.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Young TJ, Koran L

Publication type: Conference Proceedings (inc. Abstract)

Publication status: Published

Conference Name: 17th International Conference on Language and Social Psychology (ICLASP17)

Year of Conference: 2022

Pages: 20

Online publication date: 25/06/2022

Acceptance date: 19/06/2022

Date deposited: 15/07/2022

Publisher: ICLASP


ePrints DOI: 10.57711/cer5-9510