Addressing the Critical Lack of Research into Māori and Dementia

Dr Margaret Dudley (Te Rarawa, Te Aupōuri and Ngāti Kahu) is a clinical psychologist and researcher with BRNZ. In 2016 she was awarded over a million dollars by the Health Research Council to undertake a 48 month project to develop a Māori approach to the assessment and management of dementia.

As life expectancy of kaumatua increases, the prevalence of dementia for Māori is also predicted to increase, from the estimated 1,928 Māori affected in 2011 to over 4000 by 2026. However, there is a critical lack of research about Māori and dementia. Margaret’s research aims to improve current approaches to the assessment and management of dementia for Māori by providing an approach that is informed by matauranga Māori.

Margaret’s research addresses the very real need for indigenous research that better meets the needs of Māori living with dementia. Her approach integrates kaupapa māori research methods with western scientific processes. By holding hui with kaumatua ropu and whanau who live with dementia, Margaret is developing a tool that is both responsive to Māori needs and works as an effective clinical measure to screen for dementia.

To learn more about Margaret and her work have a look at the lecture below, where she discusses her focus on Māori clinical psychology.

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