Geriatr Gerontol Int. 2014 Apr;14 Suppl 2:28-34. doi: 10.1111/ggi.12263.
Developing an interdisciplinary program of educational support for early-stage dementia patients and their family members: an investigation based on learning needs and attitude changes.
AIM: The National Center for Geriatrics and Gerontology has begun to provide educational support for family caregivers through interdisciplinary programs focusing on patients in the early stage of dementia. These interdisciplinary programs have established two domains for the purpose of "educational support": cure domains (medical care, medication) and care domains (nursing care, welfare). In the present study, we examined the learning needs and post-learning attitude changes of patients and their families who participated in these programs in order to assess the effectiveness of an interdisciplinary program of educational support in each of these domains.
METHODS: A total of 170 participants (51 dementia patients, 119 family members) were included in the study. Data were obtained from electronic health records, and through a written survey administered before and immediately after each program.
RESULTS: A high percentage of patients and family members desired knowledge about the progression and symptoms of dementia, as well as measures to prevent progression, both of which fall under the medical care content. For patients, education in the medical care content increased their motivation to live. For families, education in the medical and nursing care contents promoted their understanding of dementia, while education in medication and welfare contents improved their skills for handling dementia patients and their symptoms.
CONCLUSION: Both patients and family members expressed a need to learn medical care content, including the progression and disease symptoms of dementia, and methods to prevent the progression of dementia symptoms. Their responses showed that learning medical care was effective for understanding dementia. We suggested that medical care content was the core of interdisciplinary educational support for early-stage dementia patients and their family members.