Awareness of dementia risk reduction among current and future healthcare professionals: A survey study
Background: The total number of people affected by dementia worldwide is increasing rapidly. Recent studies provided evidence for the contribution of modifiable risk and protective factors to dementia risk. Although healthcare professionals could play an essential role in informing the general public about the relationship between lifestyle and dementia, it is unclear what they know about this relationship. Therefore, this study assesses the awareness of dementia risk reduction among current and future healthcare professionals.
Design and methods: An online survey was carried out among 182 healthcare students from Maastricht University and 20 general practitioners (GPs) and practice nurses in Limburg, The Netherlands. The survey assessed the knowledge about risk and protective factors of dementia and identified needs, wishes and barriers concerning dementia risk reduction strategies.
Results: The majority of current (75.0%) and future (81.9%) healthcare professionals indicated that dementia risk reduction is possible. Among students, awareness of cardiovascular risk factors of dementia (e.g., coronary heart disease (44.5%), hypertension (53.8%)) was low. Most participants (>70.0%) would like to receive more information about dementia risk reduction.
Conclusions: The majority of current and future healthcare professionals were aware of the relationship between lifestyle and dementia risk. However, there are still substantial gaps in knowledge regarding individual dementia risk factors. Given the essential role of healthcare professionals in providing lifestyle advice, there is a need to increase awareness by providing educational programs focused on dementia risk reduction.
World Health Organisation. Risk reduction of cognitive decline and dementia: WHO Guidelines. Genève; 2019.
GBD 2016 Neurology Collaborators. Global, regional, and national burden of neurological disorders, 1990-2016: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2016. Lancet Neurol 2019;18:459-80. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/S1474-4422(18)30499-X
Livingston G, Sommerlad A, Orgeta V, et al. Dementia prevention, intervention, and care. Lancet 2017;390:2673-734. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(17)31363-6
Matthews FE, Stephan BC, Robinson L, et al. A two decade dementia incidence comparison from the Cognitive Function and Ageing Studies I and II. Nat Commun 2016;7:11398. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1038/ncomms11398
Satizabal CL, Beiser AS, Chouraki V, et al. Incidence of Dementia over Three Decades in the Framingham Heart Study. N Engl J Med 2016;374:523-32. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1056/NEJMoa1504327
Wolters FJ, Chibnik LB, Waziry R, et al. Twenty-seven-year time trends in dementia incidence in Europe and the United States: The Alzheimer Cohorts Consortium. Neurology 2020;95:e519-e31. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1212/WNL.0000000000010022
Norton S, Matthews FE, Barnes DE, et al. Potential for primary prevention of Alzheimer's disease: an analysis of population-based data. Lancet Neurol 2014;13:788-94. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/S1474-4422(14)70136-X
Livingston G, Huntley J, Sommerlad A, et al. Dementia prevention, intervention, and care: 2020 report of the Lancet Commission. Lancet 2020;396:413-46. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(20)30367-6
Deckers K, van Boxtel MP, Schiepers OJ, et al. Target risk factors for dementia prevention: a systematic review and Delphi consensus study on the evidence from observational studies. Int J Geriatr Psychiatry 2015;30:234-46. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1002/gps.4245
Solomon A, Mangialasche F, Richard E, et al. Advances in the prevention of Alzheimer's disease and dementia. J Intern Med 2014;275:229-50. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/joim.12178
Ngandu T, Lehtisalo J, Solomon A, et al. A 2 year multidomain intervention of diet, exercise, cognitive training, and vascular risk monitoring versus control to prevent cognitive decline in at-risk elderly people (FINGER): a randomised controlled trial. Lancet 2015;385:2255-63. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(15)60461-5
Cations M, Radisic G, Crotty M, Laver KE. What does the general public understand about prevention and treatment of dementia? A systematic review of population-based surveys. PLoS One 2018;13:e0196085-e. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0196085
Smith BJ, Ali S, Quach H. Public knowledge and beliefs about dementia risk reduction: a national survey of Australians. BMC Public Health 2014;14:661. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1186/1471-2458-14-661
Heger I, Deckers K, van Boxtel M, et al. Dementia awareness and risk perception in middle-aged and older individuals: baseline results of the MijnBreincoach survey on the association between lifestyle and brain health. BMC Public Health 2019;19:678. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1186/s12889-019-7010-z
Bradford A, Kunik ME, Schulz P, et al. Missed and delayed diagnosis of dementia in primary care: prevalence and contributing factors. Alzheimer Dis Assoc Disord 2009;23:306-14. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1097/WAD.0b013e3181a6bebc
Millard FB, Kennedy RL, Baune BT. Dementia: opportunities for risk reduction and early detection in general practice. Aust J Prim Health 2011;17:89-94. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1071/PY10037
Godbee K, Gunn J, Lautenschlager NT, et al. Implementing dementia risk reduction in primary care: a preliminary conceptual model based on a scoping review of practitioners' views. Prim Health Care Res Dev 2019;20:e140. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/S1463423619000744
Griffiths AW, Cheong WL, Saw PS, Parveen S. Perceptions and attitudes towards dementia among university students in Malaysia. BMC Med Educ 2020;20:82. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1186/s12909-020-1972-5
Scerri C. Knowledge of Alzheimer’s disease and training needs in final year medical and pharmacy students. J Aging Res Clin Practice 2017;6:9-13.
Heger I, Kohler S, van Boxtel M, et al. Raising awareness for dementia risk reduction through a public health campaign: a pre-post study. BMJ Open 2020;10:e041211. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmjopen-2020-041211
Marcinkiewicz A, Reid S. Attitudes to dementia: findings from the 2016 British social attitudes survey. London: NatCen Social Research; 2016.
Schiepers OJG, Kohler S, Deckers K, et al. Lifestyle for brain health (LIBRA): a new model for dementia prevention. Int J Geriatr Psychiatry 2018;33:167-75. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1002/gps.4700
Deckers K, Cadar D, van Boxtel MP, et al. Modifiable risk factors explain socioeconomic inequalities in dementia risk: Evidence from a population-based prospective cohort study. J Alzheimers Dis 2019;71:549-57. DOI: https://doi.org/10.3233/JAD-190541
Deckers K, Kohler S, van Boxtel M, et al. Lack of associations between modifiable risk factors and dementia in the very old: findings from the Cambridge City over-75s cohort study. Aging Ment Health 2018;22:1272-8. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/13607863.2017.1280767
Deckers K, Nooyens A, van Boxtel M, et al. Gender and educational differences in the association between lifestyle and cognitive decline over 10 years: The Doetinchem Cohort Study. J Alzheimers Dis 2019;70:S31-41. DOI: https://doi.org/10.3233/JAD-180492
Pons A, LaMonica HM, Mowszowski L, et al. Utility of the LIBRA index in relation to cognitive functioning in a clinical health seeking sample. J Alzheimers Dis 2018;62:373-84. DOI: https://doi.org/10.3233/JAD-170731
Vos SJB, Boxtel MPJ, Schiepers OJG, et al. Modifiable risk factors for prevention of dementia in midlife, late life and the oldest-old: validation of the LIBRA index. J Alzheimers Dis 2017;58:537-47. DOI: https://doi.org/10.3233/JAD-161208
Tullo ES, Young TJ. Medical students' attitudes toward people with dementia: an international investigation. Int Psychogeriat. 2014;26:165-71. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/S1041610213001737
Ahuja R, Ayala C, Tong X, et al. Public awareness of health-related risks from uncontrolled hypertension. Prev Chronic Dis 2018;15:E40. DOI: https://doi.org/10.5888/pcd15.170362
Dolan C, Glynn R, Griffin S, et al. Brain complications of diabetes mellitus: a cross-sectional study of awareness among individuals with diabetes and the general population in Ireland. Diabet Med 2018;35:871-9. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/dme.13639
Imre N, Balogh R, Papp E, et al. Knowledge of general practitioners on dementia and mild cognitive impairment: a cross-sectional, questionnaire study from Hungary. Educ Gerontol 2019;45:495-505. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/03601277.2019.1660137
Alacreu M, Pardo J, Azorin M, et al. Importance of increasing modifiable risk factors knowledge on Alzheimer's disease among community pharmacists and general practitioners in Spain. Front Pharmacol 2019;10:860. DOI: https://doi.org/10.3389/fphar.2019.00860
Vernooij-Dassen MJ, Moniz-Cook ED, Woods RT, et al. Factors affecting timely recognition and diagnosis of dementia across Europe: from awareness to stigma. Int J Geriatr Psychiatry 2005;20:377-86. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1002/gps.1302
Parial LL, Lam SC, Ho JYS, et al. Public knowledge of the influence of modifiable cardiovascular risk factors on dementia: a systematic literature review and meta-analysis. Aging Ment Health 2020:1-15. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/13607863.2020.1786801
Veneziani F, Panza F, Solfrizzi V, et al. Examination of level of knowledge in Italian general practitioners attending an education session on diagnosis and management of the early stage of Alzheimer's disease: pass or fail? Int Psychogeriatr 2016;28:1111-24. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/S1041610216000041
Eccleston C, Doherty K, Bindoff A, et al. Building dementia knowledge globally through the Understanding Dementia Massive Open Online Course (MOOC). NPJ Sci Learn 2019;4:3. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1038/s41539-019-0042-4
Robinson A, Eccleston C, Annear M, et al. Who knows, who cares? Dementia knowledge among nurses, care workers, and family members of people living with dementia. J Palliat Care 2014;30:158-65. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/082585971403000305
Lincoln P, Fenton K, Alessi C, et al. The Blackfriars consensus on brain health and dementia. Lancet 2014;383:1805-6. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(14)60758-3
Surr CA, Gates C, Irving D, et al. Effective dementia education and training for the health and social care workforce: A systematic review of the literature. Rev Educ Res 2017;87:966-1002. DOI: https://doi.org/10.3102/0034654317723305
Warshaw GA, Bragg EJ. Preparing the health care workforce to care for adults with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias. Health Affairs 2014;33:633-41. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1377/hlthaff.2013.1232
- Abstract views: 1045
- PDF: 420
- Supplementary: 27
- HTML: 0
Copyright (c) 2021 The Author(s)
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.