Mapping advanced dementia education provision in India against a bestpractice interprofessional learning framework

  • Jack-Waugh, Anna (CoPI)
  • Binil, V. (CoPI)
  • Henry, Joyce (Student)
  • Ritchie, Louise (CoPI)
  • Sanatombi Devi, Elsa (CoI)
  • Tolson, Debbie (PI)

Project: Research project

Project Details


This short report is one of a series of reports arising from a study funded by the Scottish Funding Council Global Challenge Research Fund. The Project “Developing family and community capacity to provide evidence-informed advanced dementia care, and reduce risks of dementia related elder abandonment and abuse” was co-delivered as a partnership project between the Alzheimer Scotland Centre for Policy and Practice at the University of the West of Scotland UK and the Manipal College of Nursing India. The Project responds to an urgent development need within India to develop dementia education aligned with the Global Sustainable Development Goals. The Project objectives focus on how advanced dementia is understood and experienced, the availability of advanced dementia care education and considers the potential usefulness of an existing portable education resource known as Class in a Bag.

This short report focusses on the mapping of current practitioner education using a skills framework to guide the development of sustainable advanced dementia community and practitioner education.

Key findings

Undergraduate and postgraduate nursing programmesAll undergraduate and postgraduate nursing programmes are delivered under the auspices of the Indian Nursing Council syllabus. Dementia is highlighted as indicative content in promotion of wellness for the elderly and skill in providing nursing care learning outcomes for medicalsurgical nursing in the second year. The clinical speciality Mental Health Nursing includes the human rights of people with mental illness and dementia in their learning outcomes. MSc programmes have similar learning outcomes and content.The findings of the gap analysis based on undergraduate and postgraduate nursing programmes in Manipal College of Nursing indicated an absence of education in the following areas:
•Protecting rights, promoting dignity and inclusion
•Future planning for advanced dementia
•Managing symptoms and keeping well
•Support for family and friends
•Advancing dementia practice Content relevant to ‘Living the best life possible’
is present in fundamental skill development in BSc and Diploma Nursing programmes. This content, however, is not dementia specific.
Dementia is covered as part of the mental health nursing unit, organic brain disorder, which is four hours. Specific dementia content, including pharmacological and non-pharmacological management of dementia, is covered in a 2-hour session in the undergraduate nursing programme. Geriatric nursing, (only available in Manipal) is present in undergraduate and post-graduate programmes and consists of 40 hours of theory, one hour of which is dementia
specific and one-week clinical experience. MSc programmes, including mental health nursing and community health nursing, have one session of 2 hours on dementia. There are no specialist dementia programmes available for postgraduates.The lack of dementia-specific services relates to the lack of opportunity for the health workforce to develop appropriate knowledge, skills and experience. Where education on dementia is present in medical and nursing curricula, they are medically focussed. This medical dominance is aligned to how services are currently structured in that specialist services are limited in number, and where they exist, they provide medical interventions.Family caregivers/focus group findingsFindings from analysis of the focus groups with family carers replicated what is known in the international literature.

Within the sample of family caregivers, there is:
•Fatalistic attitudes to dementia
•Minimal knowledge regarding the potential for environmental modifications,
including technology, to support caregiving in the home.
•Reduced understanding of the individual experience of dementia.
•Lack of understanding of the biopsychosocial impact of dementia on the
people living with dementia, including impact on the senses and perception. •Lack of awareness of strategies to manage everyday day care needs of people
living with dementia, including strategies to reduce the risk of ‘desperate care’.
Effective start/end date01-04-1901-04-20