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Clin Gerontol. 2018 May-Jun;41(3):184-199. doi: 10.1080/07317115.2018.1432734. Epub 2018 Feb 8.

Perspectives and Insights from Vietnamese American Mental Health Professionals on How to Culturally Tailor a Vietnamese Dementia Caregiving Program.

Author information

a Department of Community Health Systems, School of Nursing , University of California at San Francisco , San Francisco , California , USA.
b Department of Health Science & Recreation, San Jose State University , San Jose , California , USA.
c Stanford Geriatric Education Center , Stanford , California , USA.
d California School of Professional Psychology , Alliant International University , San Francisco , California , USA.
e Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences, Stanford University School of Medicine , Stanford , California , USA.
f Clinical Gerontologist Office , Los Altos , California , USA.



Little is known about dementia and caregiving among the rapidly growing Vietnamese American population. This qualitative study elicited insights on culturally tailoring an intervention to address mental health needs in Vietnamese American dementia caregivers from Vietnamese American mental health professionals.


Eight Vietnamese American mental health professionals were interviewed to explore: experiences working with and needs of the community; Vietnamese attitudes toward treatment; and acculturation in Vietnamese caregiving. Participants provided recommendations on tailoring a program for Vietnamese dementia caregivers. Content analysis of their responses was conducted.


Themes included: a) caregivers' unique needs and experiences; b) different waves of immigration and acculturation levels affect views on mental health, treatment, and caregiving; c); traditions and beliefs on caregiving; d) mental health, help-seeking and health services; e) how to culturally tailor a program for Vietnamese dementia caregivers; and f) cultural acceptance of the program.


An intervention to reduce stress and depression among Vietnamese American dementia caregivers should recognize the special risks of the experiences of war and immigration of the caregivers as well as the pressure of the expectations of the Vietnamese culture on family care. For the program to be acceptable and effective, it needs to consider all aspects of caregivers' health, and incorporate Vietnamese cultural values/beliefs.


A successful Vietnamese dementia caregiver intervention should include traditional Vietnamese values/beliefs, holistic experiences, spirituality, and background/immigration experiences. Evidence-based programs may be used with this population if they are culturally tailored.


Vietnamese; behavioral health professionals; dementia caregiving

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