A survey of the Queensland healthcare workforce: attitudes towards dementia care and training.

Research paper by Catherine M CM Travers, Elizabeth E Beattie, Melinda M Martin-Khan, Elaine E Fielding

Indexed on: 01 Oct '13Published on: 01 Oct '13Published in: BMC Geriatrics


Positive attitudes of healthcare staff towards people with dementia promote higher quality care, although little is known about important factors that underlie positive attitudes. Key aims of this project were to explore the relationships between staff attitudes towards dementia, self-confidence in caring for people with dementia, experience and dementia education and training.A brief online survey was developed and widely distributed to registered nurses and allied health professionals working in Queensland in 2012. Regression analyses were performed to identify important predictors of self-confidence in caring for people with dementia and positive attitudes towards people with dementia.Five hundred and twenty-four surveys were completed by respondents working in a range of care settings across Queensland. Respondents were predominantly female (94.1%), and most were registered nurses (60%), aged between 41 and 60 years (65.6%). Around 40% regularly worked with people with dementia and high levels of self-confidence in caring for this population and positive attitudes towards people with dementia were reported. The majority of respondents (67%) had participated in a dementia education/training activity in the past 12 months. More experience working with people with dementia predicted greater self-confidence while recent participation in a dementia education/training and higher self-confidence in caring for a person with dementia significantly predicted more positive attitudes towards people with dementia.These results confirm the importance of self-confidence and dementia education in fostering positive attitudes and care practices towards people with dementia. Our results also indicate that the demand for ongoing dementia education is high amongst health care workers and it is recommended that regular dementia education/ training be provided and promoted for all healthcare personnel who work with people with dementia.