Date of Conferral



Doctor of Public Health (DrPH)


Public Health


Gudeta Fufaa


The level of burden experienced by caregivers of patients diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease is high. Studies that examine this burden by taking into account cultural and spiritual differences are limited, particularly with regard to minority populations. The purpose of this study was to investigate the burden and challenges faced by minority caregivers providing in-home care to Alzheimer's patients. Guided by social support theory, a phenomenological study design was used with semi-structured interviews of 12 caregivers to examine their perspectives on the burden and challenges they face, including their lived experiences, cultural and spiritual values, and interaction with health professionals. Thematic analysis in an inductive way was used to analyze the collected qualitative data. The results of the analyses of the collected data showed that cultural and spiritual values are important in making decisions, as caregivers in minority populations face daily challenges in terms of limited social support and resources. The findings of this study suggest that public health interventions aimed at alleviating the burden on Alzheimer's caregivers need to take into account differences in cultural and spiritual values. Findings also show that there is a need for social support programs that reduce the burden on caregivers in general and on the minority population in particular. The findings of this study may drive positive social change by helping public health workers design and implement programs that consider differences in the cultural and spiritual values of minority populations while garnering the resources to provide the needed social support and alleviate the burden faced by the family member caregivers.