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Research Case studies

What Works in dementia education and training


What Works in dementia education and training: transforming approaches to dementia workforce development

Our work

Having an informed and effective health and social care workforce that can meet the care and support needs of people living with dementia has been identified as a national and international priority. Over a number of years we have conducted a range of large scale, high quality, national research, funded by the National institute for Health Research (NIHR) that contributes to our understanding of what constitutes effective dementia education and training for this workforce, as well as how well this is implemented in practice. This includes studies of the impact of individual training programmes, the implementation of staff training and practice development interventions in clinical practice (e.g. DCM EPIC multi-centre randomised controlled trial) and investigation into the training content, methods and setting conditions most likely to lead to success (e.g. What Works study).

Our impact

Our research is being used to informing policy and practice on dementia training delivery and implementation in practice, in the UK and internationally. For example, it features in the Implementation Plan that details the range of research informing national developments towards delivering the Prime Minister’s Challenge on Dementia 2020. It is also being used to define the features of what is considered good quality dementia training in England, as cited in the English “Dementia Training Standards Framework” published by Skills for Health, Health Education England and Skills for Care. This document presents the gold standard for the knowledge and skills dementia training should provide the health and social care workforce.

We are also active members of the Higher Education for Dementia Network, through which we are able to disseminate our research directly to those who are delivering pre and post-registration education to the health and social care workforce.

Next steps

We are continuing to disseminate outputs from the ‘What Works? study’ and the ‘DCM EPIC trial’ through academic, practice, lay and policy channels.

Delivery of high quality dementia care has to be underpinned by staff who have been supported to develop the appropriate knowledge and skills to deliver this. Our research is informing how dementia training can be most effectively delivered to this workforce.

Professor Claire Surr

Research outputs

Plus Icon Publications
  • Griffiths, A., Kelley, R., Garrod, L., Perfect, D., Robinson, O., Shoesmith, E., McDermid, J., Burnley, N. and Surr, C. (in press) Barriers and facilitators to implementing Dementia Care Mapping in Care Homes: Results from the DCM EPIC Trial process evaluation. BMC Geriatrics
  • Surr, C., Sass, C., Burnley, N., Drury, M., Smith, S., Parveen, S., Burden, S. and Oyebode, J. (2018) Components of impactful dementia training for general hospital staff: a collective case study Aging and Mental Health.v
  • Surr, C.A., Griffiths, A.W., and Kelley, R. (2018) Implementing Dementia Care Mapping as a practice development tool in dementia care services: A systematic review. Clinical Interventions in Aging. 13: pp165-177 DOI: 10.2147/CIA.S138836
  • Griffiths, A.W., Creese, B., Garrod, L., Chenoweth, L., Surr, C.A. (2018) The development and use of the Assessment of Dementia Awareness and Person-centred Care Training (ADAPT) tool in long-term care. Dementia. DOI: 10.1177/1471301218768165
  • Surr, C., Sass, C., Griffiths, A., Oyebode, J., Smith, S., Parveen, S and Drury, M. (2017) Dementia Training Design and Delivery Audit Tool (DeTDAT) v4.0. Leeds: Leeds Beckett University Surr, C. and Gates, C. (2017) What works in delivering dementia education or training to hospital staff? A synthesis of the evidence. International Journal of Nursing Studies. 75: pp172-188 DOI: 10.1016/j.ijnurstu.2017.08.002
  • Surr, C., Gates, C., Irving, D., Oyebode, J., Smith, S.J., Parveen, S., Drury-Payne, M. and Dennison, A. (2017) Effective dementia education and training for the health and social care workforce: A systematic review of the literature. Review of Educational Research. DOI: 10.3102/0034654317723305
  • Surr, C., Walwyn, R., Lilley-Kelley, A., Cicero, R., Meads, D., Ballard, C., Burton, K., Chenoweth, L., Corbett, A., Creese, B., Downs, M., Farrin, A.J., Fossey, J., Garrod, L., Graham, E.H., Griffiths, A., Holloway, I., Jones, S., Malik, B., Siddiqi, N., Robinson, L. and Wallace, D. (2016) Evaluating the effectiveness and cost effectiveness of Dementia Care Mapping™ to enable person-centred care for people with dementia and their carers (DCM-EPIC) in care homes: Study protocol for a randomised controlled trial. Trials. 17:300. DOI: 10.1186/s13063-016-1416-z
  • Surr, C.A., Smith, S.J., Crossland, J. and Robins, J. (2016) Acute general hospital staff perspectives on the impact of a Dementia Champions training programme on their attitudes, role efficacy and perceptions of caring for people with dementia: a repeated measures study International Journal of Nursing Studies. 53: pp144-151. DOI: 10.1016/j.ijnurstu.2015.09.009
  • Collier, E., Knifton, C. and Surr, C. (2015) Dementia Education in Higher Education Institutions. Nurse Education Today. 35 (6): pp731-2 doi: 10.1016/j.nedt.2015.02.013

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