Using interprofessional dementia learning opportunities to prepare the future healthcare workforce: Findings from a pilot study

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Abstract

Nearly 50 million people worldwide are living with dementia. Communication difficulties linked to this illness demand that all healthcare professionals are prepared to meet the needs of this group of service users. In response to this, the United Kingdom government is calling for professionals to acquire a basic (Tier 1) Dementia Awareness (DA) qualification. As healthcare students need to engage in interprofessional learning (IPL), this report describes the development, implementation and evaluation of an initiative to link the DA qualification to an existing IPL module delivered to first-year healthcare students (IPL1). A DA learning package was developed by a group of educators from a range of professions to ensure an interprofessional focus. It comprised of a set of practical exercises that students completed during and after IPL1. Sixty students evaluated the DA learning package by completing a post-intervention survey. 57 students rated it helpful or very helpful, in enhancing their knowledge of how to care for a person with dementia, while 3 students rated it as average. Two themes emerged from open-ended questions, which highlighted the importance of: i) learning to work together; and ii) blended learning. Students also suggested some changes for the full roll out, such as moving the Dementia Friends component into IPL1. This is an innovative approach that can be used to meet the challenges linked with the large-scale preparation of our future workforce and to ensure purposeful IPL.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)816-819
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Interprofessional Care
Volume33
Issue number6
Early online date29 Nov 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2 Nov 2019

Keywords

  • Dementia
  • aging society
  • communication difficulty
  • interprofessional learning
  • online
  • qualification

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