Frameworks for cultural adaptation of psychosocial interventions: A systematic review with narrative synthesis

Sally Day, Kate Laver, Yun Hee Jeon, Kylie Radford, Lee Fay Low

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Introduction: Psychosocial dementia interventions may be less effective when used with populations for whom they were not initially intended. Cultural adaptation of interventions aims to increase effectiveness of interventions by enhancing cultural relevance. Use of theoretical frameworks may promote more systematic cultural adaptation. The aim of this review was to provide a comprehensive synthesis of published cultural adaptation frameworks for psychosocial interventions to understand important elements of cultural adaptation and guide framework selection. Method: Five scientific databases, grey literature and reference lists were searched to January 2023 to identify cultural adaptation frameworks for psychosocial interventions. Papers were included that presented cultural adaptation frameworks for psychosocial interventions. Data were mapped to the framework for reporting adaptations and modifications to evidence-based interventions, then analysed using thematic synthesis. Results: Twelve cultural adaptation frameworks met inclusion criteria. They were mostly developed in the United States and for adaptation of psychological interventions. The main elements of cultural adaptation for psychosocial interventions were modifying intervention content, changing context (where, by whom an intervention is delivered) and consideration of fidelity to the original intervention. Most frameworks suggested that key intervention components must be retained to ensure fidelity, however guidance was not provided on how to identify or retain these key components. Engagement (ways to reach and involve recipients) and cultural competence of therapists were found to be important elements for cultural adaptation. Conclusions: Comprehensive frameworks are available to guide cultural adaptation of psychosocial dementia interventions. More work is required to articulate how to ensure fidelity during adaptation, including how to identify and retain key intervention components.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1921-1949
Number of pages29
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2023


  • adaptation
  • cultural adaptation
  • culture
  • dementia
  • frameworks
  • psychosocial intervention
  • systematic review


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