The TULIPA study was a four year (2017-2021) project, focusing on cross-cultural dementia diagnostics and care in the memory clinic. TULIPA stands for Towards a Universal Language: Intervention and Psychodiagnostic Assessment. This project was a collaboration between five multicultural memory clinics in the Netherlands, led by the Alzheimercenter Erasmus MC. Other participating memory clinics were the OLVG in Amsterdam, Medical Center Haaglanden in the Hague, het Maasstadziekenhuis in Rotterdam, and Medisch Spectrum Twente in Enschede. The project was funded by a national governmental grant (Memorabel ZonMw).
The project focused on three phases in the diagnostic trajectory of dementia: 1) providing education about dementia in culturally diverse individuals in the Rotterdam area (prediagnostic phase) 2) on developing and validating cross-cultural neuropsychological instruments (diagnostic phase) and 3) providing support after a dementia diagnosis by means of solution-focused brief therapy (postdiagnostic phase). To inform the general public about dementia, we worked closely with SPIOR, an association of islamic organizations in the Rotterdam region. We have trained community volunteers to teach others about recognizing the first symptoms of dementia, when and how to look for help when someone you love might suffer from dementia, and how to interact with people with dementia. Another important partner was Pharos, an expertise center focused on reducing disparities caused by a low level of literacy, both in the native Dutch and the immigrant populations in the Netherlands. Together with Pharos, we have developed an accessible information booklet in simple Dutch sentences about the diagnostic trajectory in the memory clinic. We have also enjoyed working with Stichting Voorlichters Gezondheid on the healthy aging project in a community setting in various neighborhoods in Rotterdam. A last partner that was of importance to our project is Alzheimer Nederland (the Dutch Alzheimer’s Association). They have developed one of the first online tools (through videos in Tarifit, Arabic and Turkish) that can be used to inform this specific population. Click start after the first page and see for yourself here.