Room for improvement: An online survey of allied health professionals’ dementia knowledge

Katherine Lawler, Alex Kitsos, Aidan D. Bindoff, Michele L. Callisaya, Claire E.A. Eccleston, Kathleen V. Doherty

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: To evaluate the dementia knowledge of allied health professionals and identify their specific learning needs. Methods: An online survey was conducted with allied health professionals enrolled in the Understanding Dementia Massive Open Online Course, a free course open to anyone, worldwide. The primary outcome measure was the Dementia Knowledge Assessment Scale, assessed prior to course commencement. Results: The survey was completed by 1591 participants. The mean dementia knowledge score was 35.0 (SD 8.4), with 13% (n = 207) achieving a target score of 45/50 or above, indicating comprehensive dementia knowledge. Key knowledge gaps were in the areas of dementia onset and non-pharmacological management of behavioural and psychological symptoms of dementia. Conclusions: Allied health professionals surveyed had significant gaps in dementia knowledge. Educators planning dementia curriculum for allied health professionals could consider addressing areas of knowledge related to the identified items, with view to providing a foundation for excellence in dementia care.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)195-201
Number of pages7
JournalAustralasian Journal on Ageing
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2021


  • allied health occupations
  • clinical competence
  • dementia
  • education
  • knowledge

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