Developing the evidence base for evaluating dementia training in NHS hospitals (DEMTRAIN): a mixed-methods study protocol

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INTRODUCTION: Around 70% of acute hospital beds in the UK are occupied by older people, approximately 40% of whom have dementia. Improving the quality of care in hospitals is a key priority within national dementia strategies. Limited research has been conducted to evaluate dementia training packages for staff, and evaluation of training often focuses on immediate, on-the-day training feedback and effects. OBJECTIVES: Our study aims to answer two research questions: (1) How do variations in content, implementation and intensity of staff dementia training in acute hospitals in England relate to health service outcome/process measures and staff outcomes? and (2) What components of staff dementia training are most strongly related to improved patient and staff outcomes? METHODS AND ANALYSIS: Using the principles of programme theory, a mixed-method study will be used to identify mechanisms and the interactions between them, as well as facilitators and barriers to dementia training in hospitals. We will use existing data, such as Hospital Episode Statistics, alongside two surveys (at hospital and staff level).We will recruit up to 193 acute hospitals in England to participate in the hospital level survey. We aim to recruit up to 30 staff members per hospital, from a random sample of 24 hospitals. In addition, we will explore the cost-effectiveness of dementia training packages and carry out an in-depth case study of up to six hospitals. ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: The study has been reviewed and approved by the Faculty of Health and Medicine Research Ethics Committee (FHMREC 17056) and Health Research Authority (Integrated Research Approval System (IRAS) ID 242166: REC reference 18/HRA/1198). We plan to develop both standard (eg, academic publications, presentations at conferences) and innovative (eg, citizen scientist web portals, online fora, links with hospitals and third sector organisations) means of ensuring the study findings are accessible and disseminated regionally, nationally and internationally.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e030739
JournalBMJ Open
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 14 Jan 2020


  • dementia
  • dementia training
  • education & training (see medical education & training)
  • hospitals
  • mixed methods


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