Help-seeking for dementia a systematic review of the literature

Perla Werner, Dovrat Goldstein, Dikla S. Karpas, C. K. Liliane Chan, Claudia Lai

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Background: Help-seeking (HS) for dementia presents a great challenge, especially because a timely and appropriate HS process might be associated with better outcomes for the person with dementia, their caregivers, and society. A clear understanding of the HS concept and its measurement in the area of dementia might improve the effectiveness of the process. Aims: The aims of our systematic review were: (1) to systematically obtain and evaluate the relevant literature on HS and dementia; and (2) to summarize current research findings and draw conclusions for future research and clinical care in this area. Method: A systematic review of the literature on HS and dementia was conducted up till June 2013. Results: From the 478 retrieved articles, 48 were included in the review. Conceptually, the studies examined professional and nonprofessional sources of help; showed preference for seeking help from close relatives followed by primary health caregivers; and identified inadequate knowledge and stigmatic beliefs as the main barriers to HS. The majority of the studies did not rely on a theoretical framework. Conclusions: Although the body of literature in the area of HS and dementia is growing, several conceptual and methodological limitations still have to be resolved to advance knowledge in the area.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)299-310
Number of pages12
JournalAlzheimer Disease and Associated Disorders
Issue number4
StatePublished - 4 Dec 2014


  • Alzheimer disease
  • Dementia
  • Help-seeking
  • Systematic review

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Gerontology


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