Accelerated by demographic change, dementia will become one of the most vital health challenges across Europe. Research shows that optimal dementia management is based on a person-centred approach – performed by an interprofessional team. GPs play an important role in such teams over the entire course of the disease including early detection, diagnosis, disclosure, and treatment planning.
Research question and aim
Despite the need for person-centred dementia care, most GPs who are required for an interprofessional dementia care team are usually not taught practical skills to meet the demands of person-centred management. Since 2016, an interprofessional group of dementia experts and lecturers from South-Eastern Europe has started a series of educational multilateral projects aiming at advancing dementia education for students and early-career doctors.
These projects include dementia summer schools, dementia master classes, online dementia courses that make use of group discussions, online scenarios, and case-based teaching to achieve sustainable learning outcomes in the field of inter-professional dementia care.
The educational initiative of this expert group comprises several projects where interactive learning experiences were jointly developed and piloted. The undertaken projects are used in different settings at university level and in vocational education and training. Evaluation of the projects demonstrates that innovative educational approaches increase the understanding of the importance of interprofessional dementia care and contribute to a better mutual understanding of profession-specific roles in dementia management.
Modern, interactive didactic tools are highly efficient in educating medical professions including GPs on interprofessional dementia management. By sharing the “Lessons learned” from existing educational projects, the educational initiative aims at inspiring others to make use of new teaching formats with the scope of increasing interprofessional collaboration.
Points for discussion:
How to select didactic tools to fit the needs of different learner types?
How to advocate for modern teaching at higher education level?