Factors associated with successful dementia education for practitioners in primary care: An in-depth case study

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Abstract

Background: With increasing numbers of people in the UK living with dementia, the provision of good quality person-centred care that meets the often complex needs of this population is required. Given the majority of people with dementia live in the community, significant care and support will be provided by primary care services. This means the primary care workforce needs appropriate education to ensure they have the right knowledge, skills and attitudes to meet these care needs. However, little is understood about the most successful approaches to dementia education in this setting. Methods: An in-depth case study was undertaken in a single primary care organisation with the aim of exploring the impact of a person-centred dementia educational programme, and identify barriers and facilitators to implementation. Data was gathered from a wide range of sources and analysed using Kirkpatrick's evaluative framework. Results: Initially, staff learners struggled to incorporate the 'whole-person' approach to dementia care, but gained knowledge and confidence through self-directed learning. They reacted positively to the training and appreciated opportunities to learn from peers in other services. They identified improvements in communication and prescribing practices, despite difficulties implementing changes during busy periods. Resultant impact for service users included more timely routine appointments, and positive satisfaction ratings from patients and families. Conclusions: The findings indicate the perceived value of person-centred dementia education for primary care. Further recommendations for provision in this service setting include tailored programmes designed collaboratively with clinical service providers, and bringing together an interdisciplinary mix of learners to enhance knowledge exchange.

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Sass, C., Burnley, N., Drury, M., Oyebode, J., & Surr, C. (2019). Factors associated with successful dementia education for practitioners in primary care: An in-depth case study. BMC Medical Education, 19(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12909-019-1833-2

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