05.04. Describe the cultural/societal perceptions of dementia | Hong Kong SAR

05.04. Describe the cultural/societal perceptions of dementia | Hong Kong SAR

19 Aug 2022

Previous local studies showed that the negative image of dementia and the burden of taking care of a person with dementia were factors that stood in ways of Chinese older adults with early dementia from seeking the help of medical doctors (Chan, 2012). An additional local study also found that stigmatising attitudes were functioning as barriers to help-seeking (Cheng et al., 2011).

For dementia care, most nurses and personal care workers working in long-term care found it challenging; nevertheless, they had a positive attitude towards further training on dementia and they demonstrated commitment to dementia care (Lee et al., 2012).

Surveys on how the general public and primary care physicians perceive dementia diagnosis and intervention, suggest that both groups have similar perception. A recent study has shown a tolerant and proactive attitude towards early diagnosis of dementia in order to seek prompt interventions and support among most Chinese in Hong Kong (Lam et al., 2019). In the same study, practical issues and legal concerns were reported as the most and least fearful consequences associated with dementia, respectively. Most respondents were able to identify cognitive impairments as symptoms of dementia; however, there was inadequate knowledge that behavioural disturbance could be one of the possible signs of dementia as well. On the other hand, primary care physicians, in light of the additional benefits of early treatments to individuals with dementia and carers, have also shown a positive attitude towards early detection and diagnosis of dementia (Leung et al., 2020).


Chan, C. K. L. (2012). A study on the help-seeking experience of Chinese older adults with early dementia in Hong Kong. The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Retrieved from https://theses.lib.polyu.edu.hk/handle/200/7623

Cheng, S., Lam, L., Chan, L., Law, A., Fung, A., et al. (2011). The effects of exposure to scenarios about dementia on stigma and attitudes toward dementia care in a Chinese community. International Psychogeriatrics(23(9)), 1433-1441. https://doi.org/10.1017/S1041610211000834

Lam, T. P., Sun, K. S., Chan, H. Y., Lau, C. S., Lam, K. F., & Sanson-Fisher, R. (2019). Perceptions of Chinese Towards Dementia in Hong Kong-Diagnosis, Symptoms and Impacts. International journal of environmental research and public health, 16(1), 128. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16010128

Lee, J., Hui, E., Kng, C., & Auyeung, T. (2012). Attitudes of long-term care staff toward dementia and their related factors. International Psychogeriatrics, 25(1), 140-147. https://doi.org/10.1017/S1041610212001512

Leung, C. W., Lam, T. P., Wong, K. W., & Chao, V. K. D. (2020). Early detection of dementia: The knowledge and attitudes of primary care physicians in Hong Kong. Dementia (London), 19(3), 830-846. https://doi.org/10.1177/1471301218788133