Wolfson Institute of Preventive Medicine - Barts and The London


Centre for Psychiatry

Funding Body:  NIHR rfpb

Project Investigator:  Kamaldeep Bhui


“Forgetfulness” is not uncommon with ageing. It may arise as a normal feature or be a presenting symptom of dementia or depression. While memory problems are not uncommon among older people as a whole, South Asian elders with memory problems often do not access health and social services. Unlike consultations with their GPs for physical health issues, their consultation rates for mental health and memory problems are lower. This leads to reduced access to appropriate services and the under-diagnosis and under-treatment of dementia and depression. This low utilisation of services is of particular concern since the number of elders with dementia is expected to increase significantly in the future.

The overall aim of this research was to improve our understanding of the factors that determine the recognition of and consultation for memory problems among South Asian older people. More specifically, our aims were to:
1) Summarise the current evidence about why South Asian elders may not use their local services and the corresponding factors that determine recognition and consultation for memory problems through conducting a literature review.
2) Adapt an existing tool, the Barts Explanatory Model Inventory Checklist (BEMI-C), to assess explanatory models (EMs) for memory problems in South Asians.
3) Expand our understanding of EMs for the symptoms, causes, consequences and treatments of memory problems prevalent within South Asian communities in the UK – particularly among Indian and Pakistani older people.

This is a cross-sectional study and we used a mixed-methods approach. This included conducting a systematic review of the literature in the first phase of the study, followed by the adaptation of the BEMI-C in the second phase. The adaptation of the BEMI-C was based on the findings from the literature review and qualitative interviews with 25 South Asian participants. The third phase tested the newly developed BEMI-Dementia

(BEMI-D) with 160 younger and older SouthAsians, predominantly Indian and Pakistani, with and without memory problems.


  • David Challis
  • David Jolley
  • Clarissa Giebel
  • Maria Zubair
  • Angela Worden
  • Kamaldeep Bhui
  • James Nazroo
  • William Pettit
  • Ahmed Lambat
  • Chhaya Kanani
  • Vinay Sudhindra Rao
  • Arun Dey
  • Nitin Purandare
  • DeNDRoN

Main Contact

Professor Kamaldeep Bhui
Email: k.s.bhui@qmul.ac.uk