A Review of Knowledge and Attitudes Towards Dementia Among College and University Students LE01-LE07
Dr. Ponnusamy Subramaniam,
Senior Lecturer, Health Psychology Programme, Faculty of Health Sciences,
University Kebangsaan Malaysia, and Division of Geriatric Psychiatry, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, Toronto, Canada.
Introduction: Dementia is pressing problem for family and society. Next generation health care providers which are current healthcare program students are important part of professional caregiving system in future. Particularly, having good knowledge and attitudes towards dementia will be key elements in providing best care for people with dementia.
Aim: The aim of this paper is to review the literature of the knowledge and attitudes towards dementia among college and university students.
Materials and Methods: Academic Search Complete, Psychology and Behavioural Sciences Collection, Medline Complete, SocINDEX with full text, Education Research Complete and ERIC databases from January 2010 to March 2017 were used to identify relevant papers for this review. Key words used in the search were "knowledge," or "attitude," or "perception," or "opinion," or "belief," and Dementia," or "Alzheimer's," and "students." The inclusion criteria were peer-reviewed academic journals, English language, focussed on knowledge, attitude, perception, opinion or beliefs towards Dementia or Alzheimer's Disease (AD) and studies that include college and university students as study sample. Meanwhile, the exclusion criteria were papers published before January 2010, non-English language papers, topics not related to knowledge and attitude towards Dementia and the study sample does not represent college and university students.
Results: A total of eighteen studies on knowledge and attitudes towards dementia among college and university students were found and reviewed. Ten of the studies (55.56%) were experimental intervention programmes while seven (38.89%) were questionnaire surveys. However, one paper did not report the study design. The intervention programmes which included clinical hands-on experience with dementia patients consistently improved students knowledge and attitudes towards people living with dementia. Current evidence shows that there is room for improvement in the curricular, particularly for courses related to clinical healthcare services.
Conclusion: This review provides basis for future planning to improve the current curricular by addressing the gaps in knowledge, incorporating hands-on clinical experience as well as integrating interprofessional approaches into the teaching or training module.