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Dementia Research Activity in Sri Lanka: A Review

Abhayasinghe, Kalpani; Dissanayake, Lasith; Saunders, Benjamin; Campbell, Paul; Sumathipala, Athula

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Kalpani Abhayasinghe

Lasith Dissanayake

Athula Sumathipala


Background: As a result of the global rise in life expectancy, dementia has become a major global health concern; it is considered to be one of the most burdensome conditions of later life. Despite 66% of older adults with dementia living in Low-and-Middle Income countries (LMIC), only 10% of dementia research has been conducted in these countries and more information is needed about research activity within LMIC to inform on global dementia research strategies. Todate no systematic reviews have been carried out to explore existing evidence of dementia research reported from Sri Lanka, despite it having the fastest ageing population in the region.

Objective: To describe dementia research activity conducted in Sri Lanka.

Method: Systematic searches of databases (MEDLINE, EMBASE, PsycINFO, AMED, CINAHL, SLJOL, Cochrane Library) and grey literature were conducted from each database inception to April 2020. Pre-defined inclusion and exclusion criteria were applied and papers were screened and quality assessed. Research activity by individual studies were mapped into four research domains. A narrative synthesis was conducted to describe dementia research activity.

Findings and conclusions:
Out of 971 papers retrieved from searches, 28 studies were included in the review. Results
show evidence across four research domains; epidemiology (n = 6), pathophysiology (n = 4), screening for dementia (n = 13), and dementia management (n = 7). In comparison to the International Consortium for Health Outcome Measurement (ICHOM) standard set for dementia, this review found a lack of dementia research activity in Sri Lanka generally, as well as a lack of high-quality research, particularly in the areas of dementia prevalence, dementia care, characteristics of formal and informal caregivers, and service provision for people with dementia and their and families. There is a need for more high-quality research, with robust methodologies, which would inform policy and service provision in Sri Lanka for people with dementia.


Abhayasinghe, K., Dissanayake, L., Saunders, B., Campbell, P., & Sumathipala, A. (2020). Dementia Research Activity in Sri Lanka: A Review. Journal of Neurodegenerative Disorders, 3(1), 89-100.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Dec 7, 2020
Online Publication Date Dec 9, 2020
Publication Date Dec 9, 2020
Journal Journal of Neurodegenerative Disorders
Print ISSN 2642-4274
Electronic ISSN 2642-4274
Publisher Scholars Direct
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 3
Issue 1
Pages 89-100
Keywords Dementia, Research activity, Sri Lanka, Review
Publisher URL


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