Strengthening responses to dementia in developing countries (STRiDE)
Dementia is not a first-world condition. There are already more people with dementia in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) than in high-income countries, and that is set to increase. By 2050, about 90 million of the 131 million people who are expected to have dementia globally will be living in LMICs. Everywhere, dementia is a major cause of disability among older people and can have a huge impact on their quality of life. This is more so where well-developed health and care systems do not exist.
Provision of care and support for people living with dementia, particularly at later stages of the condition, can be socially and economically very costly. These costs are mostly borne by family members, particularly women and girls, putting their potential for education and/or earnings at risk. However, in the face of demographic, societal and economic changes, there are indications that nations can no longer rely only on this informal family care for people with dementia. LMICs in particular need to develop evidence-based responses to dementia prevention and care.
Led by the London School of Economics and Political Science and funded by the UK Research and Innovation’s Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF), the STRiDE Project (2018-2021) aims to contribute to improving dementia care, treatment and support systems so that people living with dementia are able to live well and family and other carers do not shoulder excessive costs, risk impoverishment or compromise their own health. In order to achieve this, STRiDE’s objectives are to:
- build capacity in generating and using research evidence and tools to support policies for improvement of dementia care, treatment and support;
- increase research evidence on what works in dementia care and support in developing countries; and
- improve understanding of the impacts of dementia in various contexts to help countries develop appropriate responses. STRiDE aims to help countries to develop or refine national plans for dementia.
STRiDE will achieve its objectives through ten Work packages (WPs) across seven countries: Brazil, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Jamaica, Mexico and South Africa.
Each country works closely with the national Alzheimer’s association affiliated to Alzheimer’s Disease International, and in South Africa the research team is partnered with Alzheimer’s South Africa (ASA).
STRiDE proposes to do the following across the ten work-packages:
WP1: Theory of Change (ToC) workshops to co-develop the research and training agenda for STRiDE across and within countries.
WP2: Research training programme addressing WP and early career researcher capacity building skill requirements for developing dementia research and evidence.
WP3: Developing a Toolkit to increase dementia awareness and reduce stigma among healthcare professionals and community members, in all seven countries. Evaluation of the toolkit will in two countries to reduce stigma by increasing understanding and awareness of dementia.
WP4: Qualitative study to better understand costs of providing unpaid family care to people with dementia in three countries.
WP5: Survey to estimate prevalence of dementia, co-morbidities and other health-related information and to collect quantitative data on care, treatment and support and outcomes for people living with dementia and carers in two countries.
WP6: Development of an international “Dementia Evidence Toolkit” (what works in the care, treatment and support of people with dementia and their carers in LMICs), plain language evidence summaries (multiple languages) and a decision tool.
WP7: In all seven countries
- Situational analysis to assess current dementia care, treatment and support situation, as compared to the expectation and needs of the country.
- Cost of dementia study
- Simulation model of future demand for dementia care, treatment and support, estimating implications of demographic change and potential impact, in terms of costs and outcomes, of implementing evidence-based care pathways.
- Assessment of the financing, workforce and organisational requirements needed to deliver the levels of evidence-based care, treatment and support that the country aspires to provide to people with dementia and their carers.
WP8: Recommendations for National Dementia Plans (all seven countries).
WP9: Project management.
WP10: Knowledge exchange, impact and engagement.
CPMH research team:
Led by South African Principal Investigator A/Prof. Marguerite Schneider, the South African team consists of Roxanne Jacobs (Research Officer and PhD candidate), Dr. Sumaiyah Docrat (Health Economist) and Prof. Crick Lund (Honorary Professor); and project partner Petra Du Toit from Alzheimer’s South Africa (ASA).
A/Prof. Margie Schneider
STRiDE (South Africa): Principle Investigator
STRiDE (South Africa): Research officer/PhD Candidate
Learn more about the project on https://stride-dementia.org/ and follow us on Twitter @STRiDE_SA