Interdisciplinary and Transdisciplinary Perspectives: On the Road to a Holistic Approach to Dementia Prevention and Care

Rodriguez Then, F. S., Jackson, J., Ware, C., Churchyard, R., Hanseeuw, B.

Dementia, of which the most frequent form is Alzheimer’s disease, is a chronic and terminal condition with multi-factorial causes and numerous consequences on a patient’s life. Combining perspectives from different disciplines seems necessary for unraveling dementia’s entangled issues. Current dementia management is a multidisciplinary effort; however, integrating different disciplines as a holistic treatment process is often hindered due to different responsibilities, various conceptual approaches, and distinctive research methods. With this paper, we raise some of the challenges that need to be addressed in order to initiate an interdisciplinary or even transdisciplinary research agenda. We also outline recommendations on how to integrate multiple disciplinary perspectives in dementia care and research. We see opportunities for young investigators to draw from different fields of research in dementia as their research focus is still developing. By establishing common objectives with investigators from other fields, we can pursue the goal of improving treatment and care as a team-meaning accomplishing different tasks but sharing a common purpose. It is necessary to address the communication between fields that limits the understanding of connections between cognitive symptoms, biological processes, treatment, lifestyle, and care giving in order to reach the aim of developing a holistic, person-centered, patient-first approach. Associating biomedical research to field experience from care professionals and the study of human science will promote a more independent, social, and sustainable lifestyle for people with dementia.

Topic(s): Well-being
Health Condition(s): Neurology
Year Published: 2020
UAB the University of Alabama at Birmingham home
UAB is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer committed to fostering a diverse, equitable and family-friendly environment in which all faculty and staff can excel and achieve work/life balance irrespective of race, national origin, age, genetic or family medical history, gender, faith, gender identity and expression as well as sexual orientation. UAB also encourages applications from individuals with disabilities and veterans.