Educational theory into practice: interprofessional education for health and social care staff on improving care of people with dementia in general hospitals. Scotland's dementia champions.

Anna Waugh, Margaret Brown, Mick Flemming

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


Background, context and evidence-base for the innovation, including, wherever possible, its international relevance The aim of this presentation is to articulate the evidence-based educational strategies implemented during the delivery of Scotland’s national dementia champions programme and discuss the learning gained from ongoing study into the impact of the programme on participants. 
It is known that the experience of people with dementia utilising general hospital services has fallen below the expectations of people with dementia and their families and friends (Elvish et al., 2013; Jurgens et al., 2012; Royal College of Psychiatrists, 2011; Alzheimer Society, 2009; Boden, 2016). Admission to hospital can result in increased stress and distress for the person with dementia and their family, increased mortality, increased length of stay in hospital and increased discharge from home to long term care settings. While significant investment is being made into educational initiatives to equip practitioners with a safe, compassionate and effective approach to people with dementia and their families, the effectiveness and the educational and theoretical underpinning of these programmes has been unclear in published literature (Teodorczuk et al., 2009). 
Aim/focus of the innovation The dementia champions programme was commissioned by NHS Education Scotland in 2011 as a result of Scotland’s National Dementia Strategy (Scottish Government, 2010). The aim was to develop change agents by improving the knowledge and skills of practitioners involved in the journey through acute care for the person with dementia.
Implementation of the innovation A joint team from Alzheimer Scotland and the University of the West of Scotland deliver the blended-learning programme. Key impact interventions include co-facilitation by people with dementia and the families, and simulated experiential learning. Participants are recruited from health and social care staff representing the majority of professional roles. There are currently 600 dementia champions who have completed the programme. 
Methods used to assess the innovation The focus of the programme is to equip practitioners to become change agents. Cohorts 1-6 (600 participants) participants were asked about practice changes as a result of the dementia champions programme. Additionally, Bandura’s approach to measure self-efficacy (Bandura, 1999) and the Approaches to Dementia (Lintern et al., 2000) were used to measure the distance travelled by the participants during the programme in relation to their self-confidence and person-centred approaches to people with dementia.
It has been the training team’s experience that the ADQ has become less effective in measuring impact of education on a range of programmes. It was decided that contemporary measures of impact would be trialled and compared to the ADQ during cohort 6 (2015). Two measures, confidence in dementia (CODE) and knowledge in dementia (KIDE) which had been developed and validated as part of educational work specifically undertaken with general hospital staff, were chosen (Elvish et al., 2012; Elvish et al., 2014).
Key findings Analysis in 2015 on data from cohort six indicated that 95% of participants who answered the question relating to anticipated change in practice (n=62) already had, or believed they would change practice in the future as a result of undertaking the programme.
Highly significant changes were found between time one and time two means for the hope and person-centred subscales and for the total ADQ scores for participants. Participants’ mean levels of confidence indicated that, on average, their confidence had increased from moderately confident (approximately 50-60%) to around 80.0% confident that they could achieve or demonstrate all learning outcomes following completion of the programme. The CODE and KIDE were used in time one and time two and both showed a highly significant mean score difference for participants. 
In addition to discussion of the results, the presenters will outline the challenges and successes of this blended multiprofessional educational programme.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 6 Sep 2016
EventNET2016 27th International Networking for Healthcare Education Conference - Churchill College, Cambridge University, Cambridge, United Kingdom
Duration: 6 Sep 20168 Sep 2016


ConferenceNET2016 27th International Networking for Healthcare Education Conference
Abbreviated titleNET2016
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
Internet address


  • general hospitals
  • education
  • dementia
  • multiprofessional education


Dive into the research topics of 'Educational theory into practice: interprofessional education for health and social care staff on improving care of people with dementia in general hospitals. Scotland's dementia champions.'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this