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Aging Ment Health. 2017 Aug;21(8):783-796. doi: 10.1080/13607863.2016.1231170. Epub 2016 Sep 23.

Dementia training programmes for staff working in general hospital settings - a systematic review of the literature.

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a Department of Nursing, Faculty of Health Sciences , University of Malta , Msida , Malta.
b School of Health, Nursing and Midwifery , University of the West of Scotland , Hamilton , UK.
c Department of Pathology, Faculty of Medicine and Surgery , University of Malta , Msida , Malta.



Although literature describing and evaluating training programmes in hospital settings increased in recent years, there are no reviews that summarise these programmes. This review sought to address this, by collecting the current evidence on dementia training programmes directed to staff working in general hospitals.


Literature from five databases were searched, based on a number of inclusion criteria. The selected studies were summarised and data was extracted and compared using narrative synthesis based on a set of pre-defined categories. Methodological quality was assessed.


Fourteen peer-reviewed studies were identified with the majority being pre-test post-test investigations. No randomised controlled trials were found. Methodological quality was variable with selection bias being the major limitation. There was a great variability in the development and mode of delivery although, interdisciplinary ward based, tailor-made, short sessions using experiential and active learning were the most utilised. The majority of the studies mainly evaluated learning, with few studies evaluating changes in staff behaviour/practices and patients' outcomes.


This review indicates that high quality studies are needed that especially evaluate staff behaviours and patient outcomes and their sustainability over time. It also highlights measures that could be used to develop and deliver training programmes in hospital settings.


Dementia and cognitive disorders; institutional care; training and educational programmes

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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