Perceptions and attitudes towards dementia among university students in Malaysia

Alys Wyn Griffiths, Wing Loong Cheong, Pui San Saw, Sahdia Parveen

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


    Background: One of the major challenges worldwide is the stigma associated with dementia. There is limited dementia awareness within Malaysian communities, including levels of confusion regarding the differences between dementia and the usual ageing progress, which can lead to delays in support seeking. The need for additional training and education for healthcare professionals has been highlighted. The present study aimed to evaluate the benefits of a one-hour dementia education session (Dementia Detectives workshop) for pharmacy and medicine undergraduate students at a Malaysian university. Methods: Participants attended the workshop and completed pre- (Time 1) and post-workshop (Time 2) questionnaires consisting of validated measures exploring attitudes towards dementia and older people more broadly. Results: A total of 97 students were recruited. Attitudes towards people with dementia showed significant positive changes between Time 1 and Time 2, whereas no differences were found for attitudes towards older people. Conclusions: As medical and pharmacy students develop theoretical knowledge, practical skills and professional attitudes during their undergraduate studies, it is important for students to also learn about the humanistic side of diseases and conditions through workshops such as the one presented here. Further research should now be conducted to consider how Dementia Detectives can be delivered to non-healthcare students and what the barriers and facilitators to wider delivery are.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number82
    Number of pages7
    JournalBMC Medical Education
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 20 Mar 2020

    Cite this