Cultural adaptation of the savvy caregiver program for Korean Americans with limited English proficiency: a feasibility and acceptability study

Yuri Jang, Kenneth Hepburn, Juyoung Park, William E. Haley, Miyong T. Kim

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2 Scopus citations


Background: Limited English proficiency (LEP) of dementia caregivers poses a critical barrier to these caregivers’ access to evidence-based interventions. In an effort to make such interventions available and accessible to dementia caregivers with LEP, in the present study we use Barrera and colleagues’ (2011) three-step model of cultural adaptation: (1) information gathering, (2) preliminary adaptation, and (3) full adaptation. Selecting Korean Americans as a target group and the Savvy Caregiver Program (SCP) as a target intervention, we demonstrate the sequential process of cultural adaption and report the outcomes on feasibility and acceptability. Methods: Preliminary adaptation with linguistic attunement was conducted by translating the SCP manual into Korean and certifying two lay individuals who were bilingual in English and Korean as Savvy trainers. The 6-week online SCP program was delivered by the two trainers in Korean with six to seven caregiver participants per trainer (N = 13). Feasibility and acceptability of the SCP for both caregiver participants and trainers were assessed using mixed methods, and their data then informed full adaptation. Results: Findings not only showed the initial efficacy of the linguistically attuned SCP but also suggested areas for further modification. Data-driven assessment yielded a list of recommended changes for full adaptation, which was reviewed by the SCP developer to ensure fidelity and by community and research partners to confirm contextual and cultural relevance. Conclusions: The adopted changes are broadly summarized as representing logistical, technical, and cultural issues. Given our refined set of educational materials and implementation guidelines, we discuss future directions for research and development.

Original languageEnglish
Article number875
JournalBMC Geriatrics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2022

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  • Cultural adaptation
  • Dementia caregivers
  • Evidence-based intervention
  • Korean Americans
  • Limited English proficiency
  • Older immigrants


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