Autumn Arch

Date of Award

January 2020

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

F. R. Ferraro


Guided by the Sociocultural Health Belief Model (SHBM) of dementia care-seeking, this study aimed to evaluate the role of several factors, including health system barriers, cultural beliefs and knowledge of Alzheimer’s disease, in predicting help-seeking intentions for early symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease among American Indians/Alaska Natives (AI/ANs). Participant recruitment and study procedures took place online. Participants completed a series of online surveys designed to assessed predictor variables from the proposed model and help-seeking intentions from several care sources (i.e., informal, traditional, and biomedical). A total of 118 participants were included in the final sample. Three-step hierarchical regressions were conducted to evaluate the ability of the proposed model to predict help-seeking intentions for each type of care source. Results found the proposed model was significant in predicting help-seeking intentions for biomedical sources, but for predicting help-seeking intentions from informal or traditional sources. Alzheimer’s disease factual knowledge was found to be a significant predictor in biomedical help-seeking intentions. Results from this study contributed to our knowledge of how Alzheimer’s disease is understood by AI/ANs and may be useful for guiding future research and interventions related to timely recognition and care of Alzheimer’s disease in AI/ANs communities.