- What does existing research evidence indicate are the most effective approaches to the delivery of education/training to the dementia care workforce?
- What do commissioned tier 1, 2 and 3 education and training programmes look like?
- How and to whom are tier 1, 2 and 3 programmes being implemented and delivered and what is their impact?
- What are the hallmarks of an effective dementia education or training programme at tier 1, 2 and 3 with regard to design, content and delivery?
- How can the costs and value outcomes of dementia education and training be measured?
Professor Claire Surr
Leeds Beckett University
Understanding Effective Dementia Workforce Education and Training: A Formative Evaluation (DeWET Evaluation)
NIHR (PRP (10-01-02) Dementia education & training)
Alzheimer's disease & other dementias
The need for an informed and effective dementia care workforce is highlighted within a variety of national reports and policy documents. However, the dementia workforce and its educational needs are diverse, so identifying the components of effective programmes for this heterogeneous workforce is complex. Existing research suggests effective dementia educational programmes can improve confidence in and attitudes towards caring for people with dementia, increase staff knowledge and abilities and lead to improved outcomes for people with dementia. However, studies have found some educational programmes to lack efficacy. Therefore, research, which draws on the existing evidence-base and assesses the impact of programmes already being successfully implemented is needed, to inform government policy and commissioning of future educational programmes.
To gain an understanding of what constitutes an effective approach to education/training for the dementia workforce, through answering the following:
Research plan and methods
The study will comprise three inter-related work packages (WP). WP1: literature review, WP2: survey, WP3: in-depth case studies. WP1 is a literature search and review of research on effective dementia education/training interventions and staff educational programmes in health and social care. WP2 involves conducting a survey to ascertain what dementia educational programmes are available in England and their design and format. A second survey will assess the impact of tier 1-3 programmes in acute care, mental health, primary care and social care, on staff learning and behaviours and on outcomes for people with dementia. WP3 will utilise in-depth case studies in 12 sites whose educational programmes seem to be particularly effective for better outcomes for staff and people with dementia.
As a research team we have significant expertise in leading large scale research on dementia and have successfully conducted studies using all of the proposed methods. We have a track record of successful recruitment of a wide range of health and social care organisations to research, as well as recruiting staff, people with dementia and their families. One co-applicant is an ex-carer and will bring her expertise to the design, development, conduct and outcomes of the study. We are joined by five clinical experts who will sit on the Project Management Group to represent acute care, General Practice, community pharmacy, mental health services and social care. Therefore, we are well placed to conduct this study.
Potential impact/influence on relevant policy field, users and wider stakeholders
This study will draw together evidence to develop a picture of what effective dementia educational programmes look like for the health and social care workforce. From this we will develop a range of conclusions and practice recommendations to inform government, Health Education England and Local Education and Training Board (LETBs) policies and commissioning guidance. This will underpin the future development of HEE’s tier 1-3 dementia programmes. The outcomes will also inform good practice guidelines for health and social care organisations and education and training providers, which can be used as the basis for robust commissioning and provision of effective dementia education and training programmes.