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A Comparison of Medical Students’ Attitudes Toward People with Dementia across Three International Locations

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



This is the authors' accepted manuscript of a conference proceedings (inc. abstract) that has been published in its final definitive form by Gerontological Society of America, 2018.

For re-use rights please refer to the publisher's terms and conditions.


There is evidence that healthcare professionals (HCPs) do not always possess the appropriate knowledge or attitudes to care for people living with dementia (PLWD). As the number of PLWD increases internationally, it is important to foster education and training that leads to the development of positive attitudes amongst HCPs. This study compared the attitudes of medical students at different stages of training in three international locations. The Approaches to Dementia Questionnaire (ADQ) was completed by 770 medical students in years 1, 3 and 5 of their degree programs in one UK and two Malaysian institutions. An ordinary least squares regression model was applied to assess the influence of stage and location on sum score. The mean ADQ sum score (71. 58) indicated a generally positive attitude. ADQ sum score varied among stages (P<0. 0001) and locations (P><0. 0001). Year 3 and year 5 students expressed more positive attitudes than year 1 students (p><0. 0001). Students based in the UK expressed more positive attitudes than students based in Malaysia (p><0. 0001). The development of increasingly positive attitudes towards PLWD as medical students progress may be a result of teaching that encourages a person-centered approach, or as a result of increasing maturity. The variance in attitudes between students based in the UK and in Malaysia may be due to different cultural expectations or the ADQ’s orientation in “Western” values. Attitudinal instruments developed in one location may have limitations when applied elsewhere, and qualitative methods may be more appropriate way to assess cultural diversity. >

Publication metadata

Author(s): Tullo ES, Young TJ, Smith DR, Goodson LG

Publication type: Conference Proceedings (inc. Abstract)

Publication status: Published

Conference Name: GSA 2018 Annual Scientific Meeting

Year of Conference: 2018

Pages: 1-1

Print publication date: 18/11/2018

Acceptance date: 01/10/2018

Date deposited: 06/11/2018

Publisher: Gerontological Society of America