Background: General practitioners (GPs) play an important role in dementia care. Sufficient knowledge is one of the prerequisites for adequate dementia management, and educational activities do include knowledge transfer. There is no up-to-date measure of GPs' knowledge of dementia, resulting in the use of unreliable ad hoc questionnaires in recent studies, thus increasing the risk of biased results.
Methods: In a cross-sectional, observational questionnaire study, 292 German GPs answered 37 questions regarding factual dementia knowledge. For the purpose of cross-validation, the psychometric properties of the test and its associations with GP characteristics were analyzed in independent samples with item and regression analyses.
Results: Twenty questions constituted a reliable questionnaire (Cohen's α = 0.733) with a normal distribution of test scores. Linear regression analysis revealed significant associations of the knowledge test score with the GPs' age and their attitudes towards dementia.
Conclusions: The newly developed dementia-knowledge test for GPs can be used in observational studies, in which a rough and easy to use instrument is required.