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An investigation of nursing students' knowledge of dementia: A questionnaire study


Eccleston, CEA and Lea, EJ and McInerney, F and Crisp, E and Marlow, A and Robinson, AL, An investigation of nursing students' knowledge of dementia: A questionnaire study, Nurse Education Today, 35, (6) pp. 800-805. ISSN 0260-6917 (2015) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

© 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

DOI: doi:10.1016/j.nedt.2015.02.019


Background: Globally, rising rates of dementia indicate the need for more nurses skilled in caring for people with this condition. However nursing students may not acquire the requisite knowledge from existing undergraduate curricula.

Objectives: To investigate the dementia knowledge of second-year nursing students before and after a supported placement in a residential aged care facility. Assessment of the level of knowledge of dementia is important to provide evidence of the need to enhance dementia learning in the nursing curriculum.

Design: A pre-post control-intervention questionnaire study.

Settings: 16 Tasmanian residential aged care facilities (RACFs).

Participants: 99 Tasmanian second-year nursing undergraduate students (52 intervention, 47 control).

Methods: Second year nursing students were engaged in a three week RACF clinical placement at one of the 14 control facilities or one of the 2 involved in the development of teaching aged care facilities. Pre/post data were collected using the 21-item ‘Dementia Knowledge Assessment Tool 2.0’ and demographic survey questions, and analysed using descriptive analyses and nonparametric significance tests.

Results: The data showed that these nursing students had a poor knowledge of dementia, with limited understanding of key items relevant to their clinical practice. Knowledge of dementia was significantly improved after students' participation in supported clinical placements at an intervention residential aged care facility. This knowledge improvement was significantly higher than that of students who attended clinical placements at control facilities.

Conclusions: A well-supported clinical placement at a residential aged care facility can improve nursing students' knowledge of dementia, in particular in relation to aspects directly relevant to their clinical practice.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:Dementia; nursing student; knowledge; questionnaire; curriculum; clinical placement; dementia care
Research Division:Education
Research Group:Curriculum and pedagogy
Research Field:Medicine, nursing and health curriculum and pedagogy
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Provision of health and support services
Objective Field:Nursing
UTAS Author:Eccleston, CEA (Dr Claire Eccleston)
UTAS Author:Lea, EJ (Dr Emma Lea)
UTAS Author:McInerney, F (Professor Fran McInerney)
UTAS Author:Crisp, E (Dr Elaine Crisp)
UTAS Author:Marlow, A (Ms Annette Marlow)
UTAS Author:Robinson, AL (Professor Andrew Robinson)
ID Code:100807
Year Published:2015
Web of Science® Times Cited:16
Deposited By:Wicking Dementia Research and Education Centre
Deposited On:2015-05-29
Last Modified:2018-03-29

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