A randomized control trial for ReDeSign: A dementia-friendly mobile microlearning training for store workers in Japan

Gerontologist. 2022 Dec 12;gnac182. doi: 10.1093/geront/gnac182. Online ahead of print.


Background and objectives: Dementia-friendly training should be incorporated in neighborhood stores for people living with dementia to maintain engagement in social activities. However, there is a lack of evidence of dementia-friendly training in these workplaces, and existing trainings have time constraints. We developed a mobile microlearning program based on stigma theory and the bystander intervention model. This study aimed to evaluate the microlearning program's effectiveness.

Research design and methods: Convenience store workers in Tokyo were recruited for a randomized, waiting-list, controlled trial. The intervention group completed a 50-minute online course. The primary outcome was attitude towards people living with dementia. The secondary outcomes were knowledge of dementia and helping behavior towards customers suspected of having dementia. Data were collected at baseline, after one month and four months following the randomization.

Results: Process evaluations confirmed satisfaction and high completion rates of the program. In total, 150 participants were included in the analysis. The intervention group showed significantly greater improvements in attitude (Hedge's g = 0.70) and knowledge (g = 0.59) after one month, compared to the control group. Helping behavior increased in the intervention group, although it did not differ significantly between the groups. All outcomes remained significantly improved after 4 months.

Discussion and implications: The findings provide evidence that dementia-friendly training reduces the general public's stigma and increases helping behavior in stores. Mitigation of time constraints through mobile microlearning is expected to contribute to dissemination and help people living with dementia maintain their social participation in the communities.

Keywords: Dementia-friendly training; Helping behavior; Mobile microlearning; Social engagement.