Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: https://www.um.edu.mt/library/oar/handle/123456789/50792
Title: Dementia knowledge, attitudes and training needs of student speech-language pathologists and qualified speech-language pathologists : a questionnaire survey
Authors: Saccasan, Nicola
Keywords: Dementia -- Malta
Speech therapists -- Malta
Nervous system -- Degeneration -- Malta
Diseases -- Risk factors -- Malta
Health attitudes -- Malta
Health education -- Malta
Language disorders in old age -- Malta
Issue Date: 2019
Citation: Saccasan, N. (2019). Dementia knowledge, attitudes and training needs of student speech-language pathologists and qualified speech-language pathologists : a questionnaire survey (Master’s dissertation).
Abstract: The number of individuals diagnosed with dementia has increased globally and is projected to increase even further by 2050 (Prince, Wimo, Guerchet, Ali, Wu & Prina, 2015). This continuous increase will bring about further demands on healthcare professional. Thus healthcare professionals working with an elderly population need to have a good understanding of dementia, have positive attitudes and be adequately trained in order to provide good dementia care. There is an increasing demand for speech-language pathologists to provide services for people with dementia (PwD) locally. This study therefore aimed to investigate the dementia knowledge, attitudes and training needs (TN) of students following the Bachelor of Science degree in Communication therapy, as well as those of qualified speech-language pathologists (SLPs). The data was collected through questionnaires in the English language which included questions from the Alzheimer Disease Knowledge Scale (ADKS) and statements from the Dementia Attitudes Scale (DAS) and the Training Needs (TN) Survey. Approval to use the research tools was obtained from the authors who developed them. Participants were informed that participation was voluntary and confidential. 49 students (94.2% response rate), and 113 speech-language pathologists (57.4% response rate) filled in the questionnaire. The results showed that the total ADKS score for students was of 19.6±3.59 (65.4% correct responses), whilst the total ADKS score for SLPs was of 23.1±3.43 (77% correct responses). Students and SLPs needed to improve their knowledge of risk factors and caregiving. Students obtained a total DAS score of 100.6±12.50 and SLPs obtained a total DAS score of 107.5±12.52. The total TN score for students was of 51.8±6.09, whilst the total TN score for qualified SLPs was of 47.4±6.90. The findings demonstrated that students and SLPs needed to improve their dementia knowledge and attitudes towards PwD. The study also found that students and SLPs felt that they required more dementia-specific training. The data showed that there is room for improvement in the field of dementia training, thus it is essential for dementia training to be part of the curriculum of the undergraduate course and continuous professional development schemes for qualified SLPs. The study continues to support evidence that there is an increased need for ongoing training and education in the field of dementia for students and healthcare professionals who will provide services to the increasing number of individuals being diagnosed with dementia, as highlighted in the national dementia strategy.
Description: M.A.AGEING&DEMENTIA
URI: https://www.um.edu.mt/library/oar/handle/123456789/50792
Appears in Collections:Dissertations - FacSoW - 2019
Dissertations - FacSoWGer - 2019

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