Conceptions of Dementia Among Vietnamese American Caregivers

Gwen Yeo, Jane Nha UyenTran, Nancy Hikoyeda, Ladson Hinton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations


Understanding cultural conceptualizations of dementia and caregiving can assist health and social service providers to work more effectively with elders and their families. Interviews with nine Vietnamese American family caregivers in the San Francisco Bay Area were tape-recorded, transcribed and then content-analyzed for dementia labels and attributions. Labels fell into three main categories: (1) lŝn and closely related folk idioms that refer to age-cognitive decline and confusion in older adults, (2) folk and professional terms that refer to medical illness, and (3) folk and professional terms for mental illness or craziness. Attributions fell into four categories: (1) normal age-related, (2) physiological, (3) psychosocial, and (4) spiritual/religious. An additional theme that emerged from the analysis was the sense of obligation for family members to care for elders and the reluctance to use outside supportive and long term care services.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)131-152
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Gerontological Social Work
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - 2002


  • Attributions
  • Caregivers
  • Dementia
  • Vietnamese

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Nursing (miscellaneous)


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