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University of Malaya Medical Students’ Views on Communication with Persons Living with Dementia

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Michaela Goodson, Professor Tony Young, Dr Ellen Tullo


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University of Malaya Medical Students’ View on Communication with Persons Living with Dementia Lee Chen Hoi1, Roshaslinda Rosli2, Michaela Goodson3, Tony Young4, Ellen Tullo4, Tan Maw Pin2 4rd Year Medical Undergraduate, University of MalayaAgeing & Age-Associated Disorders Research Group, UMNewcastle University Medicine MalaysiaNewcastle University, UK. IntroductionTeaching on Dementia was limited to one lecture in the University of Malaya (UM) Medical Undergraduate Curriculum, with only 25% of students rotating to Geriatric Medicine until 2013. This has improved to four hours of lectures and a three-hour seminar, but only 50% of students rotate to Geriatric Medicine. We evaluated the views of our undergraduates on communicating with persons living with dementia (PLWD) to determine whether person-centeredness was favoured. MethodsThe results of this questionnaire survey is part of a collaboration with Newcastle University. We present only the UM portion of the data. The Dementia Communication Questionnaire (DCQ) consists of 11 questions rated on a Likert scale of 1-5, with 5 indicating the highest agreement with person-centred communication. Two items were reverse coded. Hardcopies of this questionnaire were administered with the assistance of medical undergraduates. Results191 students completed the questionnaires, 39 (20%) first years, 81 (42%) second to third years and 71 (37%) final years. Overall, over 80% agreed or strongly agreed with 7 of 11 items. 58% agreed uniforms made professional roles clear and 51% felt very confused speech held meaning. 79% felt it was acceptable to lie if truth was upsetting, 85% felt it was preferable to speak to family members first. Final years were significantly less likely to consider confused speech meaningful, but less likely to prefer speaking to family members first. ConclusionOverall, UM students demonstrated a preference for person-centred approaches to communication with PLWD. Attempting to find meaning in confused speech and staff wearing uniform raised ambiguity in responses while students preferred interacting with family first, though more of our final years disagreed with this, and most were against truth-telling. Our findings compared favourably with published results comparing Newcastle University Malaysia and UK students, but these had less ambiguity with uniforms and confused speech.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Chen HL, Roshaslinda R, Goodson ML, Young TJ, Tullo E, Pin TW

Publication type: Conference Proceedings (inc. Abstract)

Publication status: Published

Conference Name: Malaysian Congress of Geriatric Medicine

Year of Conference: 2018

Print publication date: 20/06/2018

Acceptance date: 01/06/2018