Exploring nursing students’ knowledge of Alzheimer’s disease
Intended for healthcare professionals
Evidence and practice    

Exploring nursing students’ knowledge of Alzheimer’s disease

Samita Kirve Senior lecturer, Oxford Brookes University, Oxford, England

Why you should read this article:
  • To be aware of the importance of dementia education in informing the provision of high-quality care

  • To recognise the strengths and gaps in nursing students’ knowledge of Alzheimer’s disease

  • To consider ways in which dementia education could be improved for future cohorts

Background As the number of people with a diagnosis of dementia continues to increase, it is essential that nurses have the skills required to provide high-quality care. However, there may be gaps in dementia teaching in undergraduate nurse education programmes in the UK.

Aim To assess knowledge of Alzheimer’s disease among one cohort of third-year nursing students to improve the education content of the dementia module at Oxford Brookes University, England.

Method A total of 35 participants completed the Alzheimer’s Disease Knowledge Scale, a validated tool that measures knowledge about risk factors, assessment and diagnosis, symptoms, course (disease progression), life impact, caregiving, and treatment and management. Data were analysed using quantitative methods.

Results Participating students appeared to have greater knowledge about dementia in relation to treatment and management, life impact, caregiving, and assessment and diagnosis, and less knowledge about risk factors, course and symptoms. This may be because the focus of teaching is on caregiving and medical treatment.

Conclusion This study identified strengths and gaps in nursing students’ knowledge of Alzheimer’s disease. The results have informed recommendations for ways to improve the education content of the dementia module for future cohorts and to enhance dementia education in nursing, health and social care undergraduate programmes in general.

Nursing Older People. doi: 10.7748/nop.2022.e1393

Peer review

This article has been subject to external double-blind peer review and checked for plagiarism using automated software

Correspondence

skirve@brookes.ac.uk

Conflict of interest

None declared

Kirve S (2022) Exploring nursing students’ knowledge of Alzheimer’s disease. Nursing Older People. doi: 10.7748/nop.2022.e1393

Acknowledgements

The author would like to thank the supervisors at the Centre for Learning Excellence of the University of Bedfordshire, the nursing students at the Faculty of Health and Social Sciences, and the unit coordinator for their participation, cooperation and permission to conduct this study. They would also like to thank the author of the Alzheimer’s Disease Knowledge Scale, Dr Brian Carpenter, for permitting them to use the instrument. The author is grateful to their peers and family for their support and encouragement throughout the completion of this study

Published online: 21 September 2022

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