Knowledge, Perceptions, and Attitudes Towards Dementia Among Medical Students in Pakistan

Muhammad Ahsan, Kainat Anwer, Hassan Raza, Saba Ali, Muazzam Ali, Parveen Akhter


The objective of this research was to assess the participants' knowledge and attitudes towards dementia and older people in a broader manner. A Dementia education workshop for undergraduate students was held. Students fill out a questionnaire before and after the workshop.  The Questionnaire was prepared by deep insights into previous literature to determine the knowledge and attitudes of 221 participants towards dementia. Attitudes towards individuals with dementia have shown substantial positive improvements before and after the workshop, while attitudes towards older people have not been affected. Respondents were reasonably well-known general dementia but had little awareness of particular risk factors.  A significant percentage of participants thought dementia symptoms could ameliorate even at an early stage of the illness for individuals who were diagnosed with dementia. Medical and nursing students require more professional, practical, and theoretical skills and learning in their studies. It is equally essential for students, via workshops such as this one, that they get to know the humanistic aspects of illnesses and situations. Fresh thinking and additional resources may be required to combat continued widespread misunderstandings and stigma development towards dementia.


Attitudes towards dementia; Knowledge; Medical students; Perceptions

Full Text:



Ahmad, A., Owais, K., Siddiqui, M., Mamun, K., Rao, F., and Yousufzai, A. W. (2013). Dementia in Pakistan: national guidelines for clinicians. Pakistan Journal of Neurological Sciences (PJNS), 8(3), 17-27.

Baker, J. R., Goodenough, B., Jeon, Y. H., Bryden, C., Hutchinson, K., and Low, L. F. (2019). The Kids4Dementia education program is effective in improving children’s attitudes towards dementia. Dementia, 18(5), 1777-1789.

Balouch, S., Zaidi, A., Farina, N., and Willis, R. (2021). Dementia awareness, beliefs and barriers among family caregivers in Pakistan. Dementia, 20(3), 899-918.

Beer, L. E., Hutchinson, S. R., and Skala-Cordes, K. K. (2012). Communicating with patients who have advanced dementia: training nurse aide students. Gerontology and geriatrics education, 33(4), 402-420.

Bergener, S., and Berger, B. (2008). Measuring perceived stigma in persons with progressive neurological disease. Dementia, 7(1), 31-53.

Brown, R. J. (2004). Psychological mechanisms of medically unexplained symptoms: an integrative conceptual model. Psychological bulletin, 130(5), 793.

Burgener, S. C., Buckwalter, K., Perkhounkova, Y., Liu, M. F., Riley, R., Einhorn, C. J., Fitzsimmons, S. and Hahn-Swanson, C. (2015). Perceived stigma in persons with early-stage dementia: Longitudinal findings: Part 1. Dementia, 14(5), 589-608.

Burke, D., Hickie, I., Breakspear, M., and Götz, J. (2007). Possibilities for the prevention and treatment of cognitive impairment and dementia. The British Journal of Psychiatry, 190(5), 371-372.

Cahill, S., Pierce, M., Werner, P., Darley, A., and Bobersky, A. (2015). A systematic review of the public’s knowledge and understanding of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. Alzheimer Disease and Associated Disorders, 29(3), 255-275.

DiZazzo-Miller, R., and Pociask, F. D. (2015). Dementia in the Context of Disability. Physical and Occupational Therapy in Geriatrics, 33(2), 139-151.

Griffiths, A. W., Parveen, S., Shafiq, S., and Oyebode, J. R. (2018). Development of the Adolescent Attitudes towards Dementia Scale (A‐ADS). International journal of geriatric psychiatry, 33(8), 1139-1145.

Halek, M., and Bartholomeyczik, S. (2012). Description of the behaviour of wandering in people with dementia living in nursing homes–a review of the literature. Scandinavian journal of caring sciences, 26(2), 404-413.

Handley, M., Bunn, F., and Goodman, C. (2015). Interventions that support the creation of dementia friendly environments in health care: protocol for a realist review. Systematic reviews, 4(1), 1-8.

Hillman, A., and Latimer, J. (2017). Cultural representations of dementia. PLoS Medicine, 14(3), e1002274.

Isaac, M. G., Isaac, M. M., Farina, N., and Tabet, N. (2017). Knowledge and attitudes towards dementia in adolescent students. Journal of Mental Health, 26(5), 419-425.

Jefferson, A. L., Cantwell, N. G., Byerly, L. K., and Morhardt, D. (2012). Medical student education program in Alzheimer’s disease: The PAIRS Program. BMC medical education, 12(1), 1-8.

McParland, P., Devine, P., Innes, A., and Gayle, V. (2012). Dementia knowledge and attitudes of the general public in Northern Ireland: an analysis of national survey data. International Psychogeriatrics, 24(10), 1600-1613.

Parveen, S., Griffiths, A. W., and Farina, N. (2020). The development and validation of the adolescent level of contact with dementia scale. International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, 35(10), 1134-1140.

Parveen, S., Haunch, K., Kerry, F., and Oyebode, J. (2018). Initial evaluation of a university dementia awareness initiative. The Journal of Mental Health Training, Education and Practice, 13(5), 264-272.

Schliemann, D., Donnelly, M., Dahlui, M., Loh, S. Y., Ibrahim, N. S. B. T., Somasundaram, S., Donnelly, C. and Su, T. T. (2018). The ‘Be Cancer Alert Campaign’: protocol to evaluate a mass media campaign to raise awareness about breast and colorectal cancer in Malaysia. Bmc Cancer, 18(1), 1-10.

Smith, S. J., Parveen, S., Sass, C., Drury, M., Oyebode, J. R., and Surr, C. A. (2019). An audit of dementia education and training in UK health and social care: a comparison with national benchmark standards. BMC health services research, 19(1), 1-9.

Sun, Y., Lee, H. J., Yang, S. C., Chen, T. F., Lin, K. N., Lin, C. C., Wang, P.N., Tang, L.Y. and Chiu, M. J. (2014). A nationwide survey of mild cognitive impairment and dementia, including very mild dementia, in Taiwan. PloS one, 9(6), e100303.

Welsh, S., Hassiotis, A., O'mahoney, G., and Deahl, M. (2003). Big brother is watching you--the ethical implications of electronic surveillance measures in the elderly with dementia and in adults with learning difficulties. Aging and mental health, 7(5), 372-375.

Zangrillo, A., Beretta, L., Silvani, P., Colombo, S., Scandroglio, A. M., Dell'Acqua, A., Fominskiy, E., Landoni, G., Monti, G., Azzolini, M.L. and Monaco, F. (2020). Fast reshaping of intensive care unit facilities in a large metropolitan hospital in Milan, Italy: facing the COVID-19 pandemic emergency. Critical Care and Resuscitation, 22(2), 91-94.



  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 1970 Universitas Pendidikan Indonesia

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

View My Stats
Indonesian Journal of Community and Special Needs Education (IJCSNE) is published by Universitas Pendidikan Indonesia (UPI)