Dec 11, 2023

TDRA Collaborating on new Study - Dementia Risk Reduction for Immigrant Women

Immigrant women in Canada have high rates of dementia risk factors (e.g. obesity, physical inactivity) due to gender roles, cultural norms, socioeconomic constraints, perceived stigma and mistrust of mainstream healthcare providers resulting from poor healthcare experiences. No previous research has specifically studied how to raise awareness about preventing dementia among hard-to-reach immigrant women.

In a new, one year, Canadian Institute for Health Research (CIHR)-funded study, Dr. Anna Gagliardi et al will review published research on the design and implementation of culturally-safe strategies used to raise awareness about dementia risk reduction among immigrant women, and then create and disseminate knowledge products via study collaborators and others to organizations that can promote or implement the strategies. This may prompt early adoption of preventive behaviours, and reduce dementia risk for many thousands of Canadian women yearly. TDRA is proud to be one of those collaborating agencies.

The AIM of the “Culturally Safe Dementia Risk Reduction for Immigrant Women” study is to generate insight on how to design and implement culturally-safe strategies that promote dementia risk reduction among immigrant women. The OBJECTIVES are to:

  1. Screen the 264 studies (2000-2016) included in a prior review of strategies used for health promotion to immigrants for those targeting immigrant women
  2. Update that prior review to identify studies published from 2017 to current targeting immigrant women
  3. Based on compiled studies, describe the design, cultural tailoring, implementation and impact of strategies used to promote dementia risk reduction to immigrant women, and
  4. Develop and disseminate knowledge mobilization outputs to organizations that can promote or implement the strategies

This study is employing an integrated knowledge mobilization model, meaning that it involves knowledge users from conceptualization to dissemination. The study will be informed by 6 immigrant women, 3 managers of agencies that offer immigrant settlement services including health promotion to immigrant women, 3 leaders of Collaborator organizations (Alzheimer Society of Ontario, BrainXchange and TDRA) and 3 researchers.

At the end of the grant results will be published in a relevant open-access journal and presented at relevant meetings by all co-applicants. In addition to these standard strategies, study researchers will develop a web page at to disseminate knowledge products (e.g. infographic, voice-over narrated video translated to multiple languages). 

Background facts:*

  • By 2031, nearly a million Canadians will live with dementia at an annual healthcare cost of $16.6 billion, and 20,000+ will be diagnosed monthly in the 2040s.
  • A key goal of the Dementia Strategy for Canada is to prevent dementia by reducing modifiable risk factors such as physical inactivity, hypertension, obesity, diabetes, depression, and substance use, among others.
  • Postponing dementia onset by ten years could avoid over 4 million cases of dementia in Canada by 2050.  
  • By 2036, nearly 50% of Canadians will be immigrants and their Canadian-born children.
  • Canadian immigrants have high rates of the aforementioned dementia risk factors [8], and ethnocultural misperceptions about dementia.
  • Nearly two-thirds of persons aged 65+ with dementia are women, an escalating reality as older persons are increasingly women.
  • At the policy level, analysis of dementia strategies in Canada and 29 other countries found they did not address how to overcome gender and cultural barriers to dementia awareness and help-seeking.

*Source: study proposal document

For all TDRA studies.