Background: Current evidence suggests that negative and stigmatising attitudes towards dementia may develop at a young age. There are a number of dementia education and awareness initiatives aimed at reducing stigma, though they have not been robustly evaluated to establish the impact on dementia attitudes or suitability in adolescent populations. This study explored the efficacy and satisfaction of one such initiative (Dementia Friends) in a British adolescent sample. Methods: 301 adolescents (M = 12.6 years old, SD = 0.73) were assigned to either receive Dementia Friends (a 60-min interactive class that teaches about dementia and its effects on people's lives) or education as usual. All participants completed a series of validated questionnaires pre- A nd post-intervention, related to dementia attitudes (Brief A-ADS and KIDS). Results: Adolescents in the dementia awareness group showed little to no improvements between time-points. The change scores in the dementia awareness group did not significantly differ to the control group based on both KIDS (d =-0.003, p = 0.98) and Brief A-ADS (d = 0.14, p = 0.13) measures. There was no Group x Time effect after controlling for confounding variables. Conclusions: Dementia Friends is successful in terms of reach and impact, though this study suggests that it may fall short of achieving its goal of improving attitudes towards dementia. Importantly, Dementia Friends did not have a negative effect on attitudes, and the majority of adolescents enjoyed the sessions. It is important that these findings are replicated in a larger randomised-controlled study.
|Publication status||Published - 2 Jun 2020|
Bibliographical noteThis article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver (http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated in a credit line to the data.
- Dementia friends
- Young people
- School of Health Sciences - Professor of Nursing Practice
- Centre for Arts and Wellbeing
- Long-term Conditions and Rehabilitation Research and Enterprise Group