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Caring for older people with dementia: An exploratory study of staff knowledge and perception of training in three Australian dementia care facilities

Authors

  • Cindy Jones,

    Corresponding author
    • School of Nursing and Midwifery (Nathan Campus), Griffith University, Spiritus – Community & Aged Care, Griffith Health Institute – Research Centre for Clinical and Community Practice Innovation, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
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  • Wendy Moyle,

    1. School of Nursing and Midwifery (Nathan Campus), Griffith University, Griffith Health Institute – Research Centre for Clinical and Community Practice Innovation, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
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  • Gillian Stockwell-Smith

    1. School of Nursing and Midwifery (Nathan Campus), Griffith University, Griffith Health Institute – Research Centre for Clinical and Community Practice Innovation, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
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Correspondence to: Dr Cindy Jones, Griffith Health Institute – Research Centre for Clinical and Community Practice Innovation. Email: c.jones@griffith.edu.au

Abstract

Aim

To ascertain care staff's knowledge of dementia relating to aetiology and/or pathology, symptoms and care/treatment; and explore their perceptions of the importance and adequacy of dementia education and training opportunities.

Methods

Thirty-five care staff working in three secure dementia care facilities were recruited. Dementia knowledge was surveyed using the Staff Knowledge of Dementia Test (SKDT). Perceptions of dementia education and training were examined via semi-structured individual interviews.

Results

An average of 21 out of 33 SKDT questions (SD = 4.0) was correctly answered. Knowledge discrepancy was attributed to participants’ cultural and ethnic origin and the length of residency in Australia of migrant care staff. Participants acknowledged the importance of dementia education and training but were critical of the content relevancy to direct care practices.

Conclusion

There is a need to improve care staff knowledge of dementia, and dementia education and training should include direct practical competencies required for effective care delivery.

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