Translating knowledge into practice: An exploratory study of dementia-specific training for community-based service providers

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Abstract

Objective

To develop, deliver, and evaluate dementia-specific training designed to inform service delivery by enhancing the knowledge of community-based service providers.

Methods

This exploratory qualitative study used an interdisciplinary, interuniversity team approach to develop and deliver dementia-specific training. Participants included management, care staff, and clients from three organizations funded to provide services in the community. Data on the acceptability, applicability, and perceived outcomes of the training were gathered through focus group discussions and individual interviews. Transcripts were analyzed to generate open codes which were clustered into themes and sub-themes addressing the content, delivery, and value of the training.

Findings

Staff valued up-to-date knowledge and “real stories” grounded in practice. Clients welcomed the strengths-based approach. Contractual obligations impact on the application of knowledge in practice.

Implications

The capacity to implement new knowledge may be limited by the legislative policies which frame service provision, to the detriment of service users.

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