Objectives: To assess improvements in dementia knowledge among general practitioner (GP) registrars and supervisors following their participation in dementia workshops.
Design: Pre-post intervention study.
Setting: General practice education in Australia.
Participants: 296 GP registrars and 91 GP supervisors.
Interventions: Registrars participated in a 3-hour face-to-face workshop on diagnosing and managing dementia. Supervisors participated in a 2-hour modified version of the workshop designed to support them in teaching registrars.
Main outcome measures: The Dementia Knowledge Assessment Scale (DKAS) was used to assess overall dementia knowledge as well as knowledge on four subscales (causes and characteristics; communication and behaviour; care considerations; risks and health promotion). Changes in mean scores and the proportion of participants obtaining a threshold score (90th percentile score preworkshop) were used as measures of improvement.
Results: Few registrars and supervisors identified previous experience of formal dementia education. At baseline, mean dementia knowledge scores were 36 for registrars and 37 for supervisors of a total score of 50. Both groups had significantly improved overall dementia knowledge following the workshop with a mean score of 43. Improvements in knowledge were observed for all four DKAS subscales. Between preworkshop and postworkshop periods, there was an increase in the proportion of registrars and supervisors obtaining the threshold score for total DKAS as well as the four subscales. A significantly higher proportion of registrars compared with supervisors obtained the threshold score postworkshop in the areas of causes and characteristics and risks and health promotion.
Conclusions: Prior to the workshop, no differences in overall dementia knowledge were observed between registrars and supervisors. While knowledge improved in all areas for both groups postworkshop, findings from this study suggest the need to include foundational content such as the causes and characteristics of dementia in educational workshops for both trainee and experienced GPs.
Keywords: dementia; dementia education; dkas; general practitioner; knowledge; primary care.
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