Document Type (Journals)

Original Research


The number of dementia diagnoses is ever-increasing in the aging population, meaning that healthcare staff need to be equipped with the appropriate knowledge, attitudes, and skills to care for people with dementia. However, recent research suggests that globally, both healthcare workers and students require greater dementia education opportunities to meet the needs of people with dementia. There seems to be limited research exploring dementia education opportunities within occupational therapy (OT) and physiotherapy (PT) programs. A scoping review methodology was chosen to explore the literature about dementia education in global OT and PT programs. There was limited literature in this area and only four articles were found after an intensive search through databases. Three overarching themes were developed: ‘Attitudes, knowledge, and confidence’, ‘Benefits of experiential learning’, and ‘Experience and working with people with dementia’. Further, the benefits of virtual learning interventions, peer support, and communication strategies were explored. All experiential learning interventions had a positive impact on student’s knowledge, confidence, and attitudes toward dementia. However, students need to be prepared with adequate knowledge prior to engaging in experiential learning interventions. Results from this study recommend the use of didactic teaching in conjunction with experiential learning within the healthcare curriculum. Peer support, communication strategies, and virtual dementia learning may be beneficial methods for educators to use and need to be explored in further detail concerning OT and PT curricula.


Samita Kirve, MSc (Dementia Studies), BSc (Occupational Therapy), FHEA, PGCAP, MRCOT is a Senior Lecturer and Occupational Therapist with over 25 years of clinical and academic experience. She is passionate about working with people with dementia. She holds a Master's degree in Dementia Studies from the University of Bradford, UK, and is an approved practitioner of Dementia Care Mapping. Currently, she works as a Senior Lecturer and Course Director for MSc (pre-reg) Occupational Therapy program at Royal Holloway University of London, UK. She is also completing a PhD in Dementia Studies at University of Worcester, UK.

Alice Teague, MSc (pre-reg) Occupational Therapy, BSc (Hons) Psychology is a recently qualified Band 5 Occupational Therapist with a specific interest in dementia care. She pursued an MSc (pre-reg) in Occupational Therapy at Oxford Brookes University and holds a BSc (hons) degree in Psychology. Currently, she works as a qualified Band 5 occupational therapist at Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundations Trust in Oxford, UK.

Declaration of Interest

The authors report no declarations of interest

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.