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New horizons in understanding the experience of Chinese people living with dementia: a positive psychology approach

New horizons in understanding the experience of Chinese people living with dementia: a positive psychology approach

Lau, Wing Yin Tiffany, Stoner, Charlotte ORCID: 0000-0002-1536-4347, Wong, Gloria Hoi-Yan and Spector, Aimee (2021) New horizons in understanding the experience of Chinese people living with dementia: a positive psychology approach. Age and Ageing. ISSN 0002-0729 (Print), 1468-2834 (Online) (In Press) (doi:https://doi.org/10.1093/ageing/afab097)

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Abstract

As the global average age increases, the incidence of dementia is also rising. Given improvements in diagnosis and life expectancies, people now live longer with dementia. Thus, the wellbeing and quality of life among people living with dementia are increasingly important areas for research.

Research with Western populations has recently begun to apply positive psychology concepts to understand wellbeing in people with dementia. Positive psychology focuses on positive emotions and traits that allow individuals to flourish and thrive—it highlights the possibility of positive subjective experiences in the face of loss and functional decline, and contrasts the traditional deficit-focused perception of dementia.

Despite being a major driver in the global growth of dementia prevalence, there is a dearth of research using such positive concepts to understand people with dementia in non-Western communities. This review contains discussion of research on positive constructs in Chinese older adults, and parallels between traditional Chinese cultural values and positive psychology. On this basis, we propose the applicability of a positive psychology framework to Chinese people with dementia, and that ‘harmony’ is an important culturally specific concept to consider in this area of research.

A positive psychology approach acknowledges that strengths and positive experiences can endure after dementia diagnosis. This not only adds to the under-researched area of lived experience of dementia in Chinese people, but highlights areas that could be the focus of interventions or measured as outcomes. By improving understanding, this approach also has potential to reduce carer burden and stigma around dementia

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: cross-cultural, harmony, wellbeing, lived experience, older adults
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Faculty / Department / Research Group: Faculty of Education, Health & Human Sciences
Faculty of Education, Health & Human Sciences > Department of Psychology, Social Work & Counselling
Last Modified: 14 Jun 2021 09:47
Selected for GREAT 2016: None
Selected for GREAT 2017: None
Selected for GREAT 2018: None
Selected for GREAT 2019: None
Selected for REF2021: None
URI: http://gala.gre.ac.uk/id/eprint/33070

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