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The University of Southampton
Centre for Research on Ageing

Research project: Understandings, beliefs and treatment of Dementia in Pakistan

Currently Active: 

This project is funded by Age International, Age UK, Alzheimer’s Disease International, and HelpAge International, and runs from 2017-2018. The aim of the project is to explore the understandings and beliefs of dementia among people in Pakistan, and to examine the treatment availability and experiences for dementia in Pakistan. The goal is to inform policies and programmes to raise awareness of dementia and provide better support services for people with dementia and their families in Pakistan.  

Project Overview:

The research will involve collection and analysis of qualitative data in Pakistan from four different groups:

  • People with a diagnosis of mild dementia;
  • People who provide unpaid care for someone with mild dementia;
  • People who have no experience with dementia;
  • Key stakeholders


Department of Gerontology and Centre for Research on Ageing , University of Southampton

Principal Investigator: Prof Asghar Zaidi 

Co-Investigator: Dr Rosalind Willis 


Centre for Dementia Studies, Brighton and Sussex Medical School

Co-Investigator: Dr Nicolas Farina 

Researcher: Dr Sara Balouch 


Aga Khan University, Pakistan

Co-Investigator: Dr Qurat Khan


Alzheimer’s Pakistan, Pakistan

Co-Investigator: Dr Hussain Jafri


HANDS International,

Researcher: Dr Irfan Ahmed

Senior General Manager: Rubina Jaffri


Scientific Advisory Board:

Lord Dr. Shaukat Khan, Chair

Prof Dr. Yasmin Raashid, Patron in chief, Alzheimer’s Pakistan, also professor at Central Park Medical College Lahore

Prof Dr. Murad Moosa Khan, Head of the Department of Psychiatry, Aga Khan University

Prof Dr Arsalan Ahmad, Professor of Neurology, Shifa International Hospital, Islamabad

Simon Hunt/ Dr Rauf Khan, Oxford Policy Management, Oxford/ Islamabad

Dr. Maryam Rab, Research Evaluation Monitoring Unit, British Council, Islamabad.


Project activities/ updates:

You can access a poster on the project here.

A blog on the project can be read here.

You can download the Final Report here

The project findings were reported in newspapers in Pakistan in English and Urdu (including Daily Times and DAWN), and also reported on television (including Dunya News and Jaago Lahore). The Story from Dunya News contains an informative video on dementia in Urdu created in response to the research project.


Willis, R., Zaidi, A., Balouch, S., & Farina, N. (2018). Experiences of people with dementia in Pakistan: help-seeking, understanding, stigma, and religion. The Gerontologist, 1-10. DOI: 10.1093/geront/gny143


Conference presentations:

Farina, N., Balouch, S., Willis, R., & Zaidi, A. (2018). Attitudes and knowledge of dementia in Pakistan: perceptions of the general public. Poster session presented at Alzheimer's Disease International Conference, Chicago 2018, Chicago, United States.

Balouch, S., Farina, N., Zaidi, A., & Willis, R. (2018). Experiences of dementia caregivers in Pakistan. Poster session presented at BSG 2018: The British Society of Gerontology 47th Annual Conference.

Willis, R., Zaidi, A., Farina, N., & Balouch, S. (2018). Experiences of people living with dementia in Pakistan. Paper presented at British Society of Gerontology 2018, Manchester, United Kingdom.

Farina, N., Willis, R., Balouch, S., Khan, Q., Jafri, H., Ahmed, I., & Zaidi, A. (2017). Understandings of dementia in Pakistan: a project proposal. Poster session presented at Alzheimer's Association International Conference, London, United Kingdom.


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