Nadine Mirza

Title: DELTA - the development of a toolkit to improve dementia diagnosis and access to memory services for the British Urdu speaking population.

PhD summary

Estimated rates of dementia show that South Asians between the ages of 65-79 have the highest prevalence of dementia in the UK and second highest for those above 80. Despite this the referral rate for South Asians to memory clinics is low, the dropout rate is high, and they are more likely to avail assistance late into the progression of dementia. 

Thus, with British South Asians not accessing and receiving an early dementia diagnosis and relevant treatment the research proposes addressing this by providing solutions through a toolkit, which can be implemented at memory clinics to improve British South Asian access and diagnosis. 

The research will consist of:

  • Focus groups with memory clinic staff on interacting with ethnic service users, issues that have arisen, the current protocol for addressing these issues, gaps in existing training and resources and proposal for solutions. 
  • Interviews with memory clinics service users, their family and carers, regarding their experience of the memory clinic pathway, barriers they faced, proposals for solutions and how to enable more dementia specific education and information. 
  • Developing materials for a toolkit from this qualitative feedback, including staff training, guidelines and multimedia on cultural sensitivity, working with interpreters, service user materials and the ACE-III Urdu we have developed in previous work. 

I’ll be implementing this toolkit within services and evaluating its effects in a before and after design across a period of 6 months. We’ll determine how many British South Asians were administered a cognitive assessment, received a dementia diagnosis, and accessed the services. We will also explore staff, user and carer satisfaction of the toolkit through interviews and questionnaires.


September 2017 – March 2021


Medical Research Council (MRC)

Institution name

The University of Manchester


Discipline area

Mental health

Short biography 

I graduated from the University of Manchester in 2015 with a BSc (Hons) in Psychology and an MPhil in Primary Care Mental Health before working as a research assistant at the university’s Centre for Primary Care. 

My work during my masters and this research position focused on the assessment of dementia and cognitive impairment within ethnic minority groups, particularly South Asians, and the influence of language and culture on the perception of cognitive assessments. 

In January 2017 I was awarded a doctoral training program studentship by the Medical Research Council for a PhD in Mental Health, which commenced September 2017 with the Centre for Primary Care. Alongside my studies I am working as an Assistant Psychologist with Just Psychology CIC, a graduate teaching assistant with the School of Psychological Sciences, and a blogger at The Almost Psychologist


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