Background With the number of the population with dementia set to rise to 1 million in 2025, the care and wellbeing of this group is a Government priority. The Berwick Report highlights the need for training in care, compassion, teamwork and engagement it is with these principles this course was developed.
Methodology This one day interprofessional training includes six simulated scenarios focussed on assessment and management of a variety of Behavioural and Psychological Symptoms of Dementia (BPSD). The course aims to improve participants’ confidence in recognition, assessment and management of BPSD, and develop non-technical skills, like communication and leadership.
Each scenario is debriefed using a simulation debrief model which allows participants to learn in a safe environment. The course was evaluated using pre and post course questionnaires with knowledge, confidence and attitude measures as well as a course evaluation tool with a free text box to provide feedback.
Results Data showed a statistically significant increase in knowledge in relation to treatment and management of patients with BPSD p < 0.0001 with a medium to large effect size [0.44]. There was also a statistically significant increase in the confidence of clinical management measures P < 0.0001, with a large effect [0.55].
Participant’s responses stated training improved reflection and communication skills to promote more compassionate care. Respondents reported improvements in leadership skills and highlighted positive impact of training inter professionally, with increased understanding of other individuals’ and teams’ roles and responsibilities, as well as increased likelihood of consulting and involving these professionals.
Conclusions Our findings demonstrate that it is possible to improve healthcare professionals’ knowledge of and confidence in managing the BPSD of dementia using simulation. The application of this educational modality in this area is emerging. The interprofessional nature of the course is particular important due to the need to foster good collaborative practice in the care.
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Department of Health. Prime Ministers challenge on Dementia 2020. Department of Health, 2014
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