Knowledge Tree

The Knowledge of Attitudes of Nurses and Doctors caring for Dementia Patients in Hospital

Authors:Antoinette Larkin

Abstract The Aim: The goal of this study was to establish the knowledge and attitudes of nurses and doctors in caring for dementia patients.Methodology: This survey was carried out using self-reporting questionnaires. The setting was a Health Service Executive (HSE) hospital. The hospital was a Level 3 site because it has an Emergency department that is open for admissions 24 hours a day, and is equipped with a Medical Assessment Unit. For this survey, a descriptive approach was adopted. 147 (n=147) health professionals were interviewed (nurses n=100 and doctors n=47) through the use of a convenience sample. The data was collected using a combination of two questionnaires, both of which were validated and deemed reliable while inclusive of demographics. The two measures used were the Alzheimer’s Disease Knowledge Scale (ADKS) and the Dementia Attitude Scale (DAS).Analysis: Descriptive analysis was undertaken for all variables using the computer software Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) Version 21. Independent correlation coefficients, T-tests and ANOVA tested the relationships between the participants’ knowledge, attitudes, and characteristics in relation to dementia patients.Results: The results show a 70% return rate of completed questionnaires in both the nurse (n=70) and doctor (n=33) groups. Only 30% of participants had received specific education about dementia. Both doctors and nurses had similar scores on the attitude and knowledge scales, which were moderate overall. The DAS suggests that attitudes were moderately positive in both groups. No significant increase in knowledge was found in respondents who had attended previous educational courses. No respondent attended the National Two-Day Dementia Programme. Age was not a significant factor when compared with knowledge and attitudes. A number of participants (n=22) were not interested in furthering their knowledge of dementia. However, this was not significant to the respondents’ overall knowledge and attitudes scores.


dementia, nurses, doctors, attitudes, knowledge

How to Cite:

Larkin A. The Knowledge of Attitudes of Nurses and Doctors caring for Dementia Patients in Hospital. International Journal of Integrated Care. 2017;17(5):A535.

DOI: on 17th October 2017