Adapting Cognitive Stimulation Therapy for Māori & Pasifika People (BRNZ CoRE)

20 Nov 2019

Inequalities in health between Māori and non-Māori have nor improved in the last few decades, with New Zealand clinicians speculating that dementia prevalence is higher in Māori and Pasifika people.[1] Cognitive Stimulation Therapy (CST) is an evidence based non-pharmacological treatment currently available for people with a diagnosis of mild to moderate dementia. It is a structured and manualised group cognitive intervention that involves 14 sessions (twice a week over seven weeks) of themed activities. These sessions are aimed to actively stimulate and engage people with dementia, while providing an optimal learning environment and the social  benefits of a group of six to eight participants with two facilitators. CST has been shown to improve cognition, quality of life and communication.

The aim of this project is to adapt CST for Māori and Pasifika people with mild to moderate dementia. This project has direct relevance to Māori and Pasifika people who suffer from dementia and will involve interaction with different community groups and stakeholders associated with dementia care in Māori and Pasifika communities. The adapted Māori CST manual will be used to train CST facilitators to deliver evidence based treatment to Māori people with dementia. The availability of CST may encourage Māori people to seek help for their cognitive impairment and promote early diagnosis of dementia, benefiting the individual and their whānau.


[1] Ministry of Social Development. Our ageing population.