Leander Mitchell

Developing culturally appropriate assessments for people with dementia living in the Torres Strait

Dementia Centre for Research Collaboration – Dementia Australia Research Foundation Pilot Grant
In Progress
Project Snapshot

The experience of anxiety and depression can lead to poor mental health and wellbeing. Good measures of these experiences are therefore important to help find out if someone has this type of diagnosis. Unfortunately, measures of anxiety and depression in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (ATSI) populations are limited. This project therefore aims to develop measures of anxiety and depression that will be culturally appropriate, and therefore meaningful, within ATSI populations. To do this, we will hold yarning circles with members of the ATSI population to find out how they define anxiety and depression. We will then use experts in the field to help develop those discussions into a list of questions suitable for a questionnaire. This list will then be given to members of the ATSI population to see what they think and to see how useful the questionnaires are when used with people with anxiety and/or depression. We hope to create measures of depression and anxiety that will do a better job of identifying these diagnoses in members of the ATSI population. Being able to correctly identify these diagnoses will assist in better managing such conditions and in improving the overall wellbeing of members of the ATSI population.

Where are they now?

Dr Mitchell is a Senior Lecturer (Clinical academic) within the School of Psychology at the University of Queensland (UQ). She also manages the UQ Psychology Clinic and is actively engaged in training the next generation of psychologists.