Students and Teachers' Preferences for Undergraduate Dementia Education in Western Australia
Beer, C., Watson, N., Caputo, L., Hird, K., & Flicker, L. (2011). Students and teachers' preferences for undergraduate dementia education in Western Australia. Gerontology and Geriatrics Education, 32(3), 273-290. doi:10.1080/02701960.2011.599900
Medical graduates require positive attitudes toward older people with cognitive impairment, in addition to knowledge and skills in the diagnosis and management of dementia. The Student Training Project in Dementia (STriDE) project was conducted to ensure that these needs are met through curricula in Western Australian medical schools. Two medical schools in Perth, Western Australia, participated. Mixed methods were utilized comprising a) focus groups and interviews and b) a survey of teachers and students. Participants recommended clearer structure and standardization in the curriculum to ensure that all students receive similar educational experiences regardless of hospital placement. Both teachers, and to a lesser extent students, held positive attitudes toward older people. Teachers tended to be more dissatisfied with current curricula than students. Teachers and learners endorsed a broad range of teaching and learning methods, assessments, and skills/competencies. The results of this study present major challenges for professional entry dementia education given the breadth, flexibility, and depth of dementia education recommended by teachers and learners.