Background: Despite high levels of participation in dementia education, general practitioners (GPs) and residential care facility (RCF) staff report perceived learning needs. Small group education, which is flexible, individualized, practical and case-based, is sought. We aimed to develop educational interventions for GPs and RCF staff tailored to meet their perceived educational needs.
Methods: We used a consultative process to develop education programs. A flexible program for RCF staff was developed in 30-minute blocks, which could be combined in sessions of different lengths. The RCF program aimed to facilitate sustainable change by engaging local “Dementia Champions”. For GPs, face-to-face and self-directed packages were developed. We collected participant feedback to evaluate the program.
Results: GPs and RCF staff were recruited as part of a larger intervention study. Sixteen of the 27 GPs who were offered the dementia education participated. Two of the 16 GPs participated in both learning packages. A total of 45 GP feedback responses were received from 16 GPs: 28 out of 45 GPs (62%) reported that the participants' learning needs were entirely met. Eighteen of 19 facilities offered the intervention participated and 326 RCF staff attended one or more of the 94 RCF education sessions. Feedback was collected from 93 sessions: 1013 out of 1067 RCF staff feedback responses (95%) reported that the session met the participants' learning needs. Qualitative feedback was also strongly positive.
Conclusion: Participants perceived the education programs as meeting their needs. Despite explicit attempts to provide flexible delivery options, overall participation rates remained low.