Radiographers' knowledge and attitudes toward dementia

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O'Leary, A. B.
Scally, A.
Moore, N.
Maiorino-Groeneveld, C.
McEntee, Mark F.
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W.B. Saunders Ltd
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Introduction: Dementia is a syndrome associated with a decline in brain function, impacting how we speak, think, feel, and behave. Misunderstanding of dementia and how it affects patients and their carers is common. There is limited research on how radiographers provide adequate care to those with dementia. Radiographers with knowledge and positive attitudes can reduce stigma and fear, improving the quality of care. This study aimed to assess radiographers' knowledge and attitudes towards dementia. Methods: A cohort of registered radiographers in Ireland participated in an online survey. Two pre-existing validated questionnaires: The Alzheimer's Disease Knowledge Scale (ADKS) and the Dementia Attitudes Scale (DAS), assessed radiographers' knowledge and attitudes towards dementia and people with dementia. Scores were compared across variables such as gender, age, grade, qualification, work setting, and the number of years qualified. Results: A total of 123 radiographers responded. Knowledge scores did not significantly differ across demographic groups (p > 0.05). Total knowledge scores ranged from 60% to 100%. Total attitude scores ranged from 50% to 100%. Participants with a BSc, MSc, and other post-graduate degrees scored higher on the attitude scale than those with a diploma qualification (p = 0.027). Those with less than 20 years' experience scored higher than those with more. Knowledge had little correlation with attitude (r = 0.0522; p = 0.5667). Conclusion: Findings indicate variations in attitudes linked to age and experience, and some misconceptions can be observed across varying groups. Interventions to improve attitudes and raise awareness are needed. Implications for practice: There is a need for further research and education on dementia care in the imaging department. We have identified areas requiring further education.
Ageing , Alzheimer's disease , Education , Elderly , Patient care , Radiography
O'Leary, A. B., Scally, A., Moore, N., Maiorino-Groeneveld, C. and McEntee, M. F. (2023) 'Radiographers' knowledge and attitudes toward dementia', Radiography, 29(2), pp.456-461. doi: 10.1016/j.radi.2023.02.010
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