Dementia is characterized by a progressive decrease in cognitive functions, and the term includes different etiologies. Cognitive decline includes loss of memory and deterioration in executive functions, such as planning and organizing skills, sufficient to influence social activities. The aim of this study was to examine and compare the attitudes (knowledge, emotions and behaviour) of students at the High Medical College of Professional Studies and nurses towards people suffering from dementia. The study was designed as a qualitative study with the use of a questionnaire. The Dementia Attitudes Scale (DAS) was used in our study. A total of 283 respondents answered the survey: 56.25% were students, and 43.75% were nurses. The internal consistency of the DAS was found to be good with a Cronbach’s α of 0.792. In the overall score for attitudes, a significant difference was found between students (100.47±10.91) and nurses (95.51±16.10). The students had a better score regarding questions describing their behaviour towards these individuals (p<0.001) and emotions for these patients (p<0.001). For knowledge, there was no difference between the two groups of subjects (p=0.901). Regarding the overall score, attitudes of students and nurses towards people with dementia were positive. This research suggested that the training of senior team members who then had dementia expertise was a key component in developing attitudes and improving care practices and outcomes for these patients. Continuous education of all medical staff who have contact with people who suffer from dementia is important.
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