Indexed on: 18 May '20Published on: 18 May '20Published in: BMC Family Practice
General practitioners (GPs) play a significant role in dementia care. However, the knowledge and attitudes of them towards dementia care are poorly characterized. The present study aimed to investigate GPs' knowledge, attitudes and skills of dementia care in primary health settings in Beijing. A cross-sectional survey was conducted in 27 community health service centers (CHSCs) in Beijing. The GPs' knowledge, attitudes and skills were assessed utilizing the Alzheimer's Disease Knowledge Scale (ADKS), Dementia Care Attitude Scale (DCAS) and self-designed questionnaire, respectively. A total of 341 participants returned the questionnaire. The overall mean score of GPs' dementia knowledge measured by the ADKS was 21.42 (SD = 2.73) out of 30 (71.4%), GPs' attitudes to dementia care was 36.25 (SD = 5.12) out of 50 (72.5%), and GPs' self-confidence on dementia care skills was 53.93 (SD = 9.57) out of 75 (71.9%). GPs' overall knowledge towards dementia care was limited and the attitudes were generally positive. They had low level recognition of their roles towards dementia care. The majority of GPs believed that dementia care was within a specialist's domain not that of general practice. GPs demonstrate low levels of dementia knowledge and skills, but express generally positive attitudes towards dementia in this study. It is much needed to translate detailed dementia care handbook, and adequate dementia knowledge training for GPs into practice to improve care outcomes for people with dementia in China. In addition, dementia management should be covered in the national basic package of public health services in primary care.