Original Research

Educational intervention to enhance the knowledge of Ghanaian health workers on Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias

Nana K. Ayisi-Boateng, Fred S. Sarfo, Douglas A. Opoku, Emmanuel K. Nakua, Emmanuel Konadu, Phyllis Tawiah, Ruth Owusu-Antwi, Akye Essuman, Bernard Barnie, Charles Mock, Peter Donkor
African Journal of Primary Health Care & Family Medicine | Vol 14, No 1 | a3448 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/phcfm.v14i1.3448 | © 2022 Nana K Ayisi-Boateng, Fred Stephen Sarfo, Douglas Aninng Opoku, Emmanuel Kweku Nakua, Emmanuel Konadu, Phyllis Tawiah, Ruth Owusu-Antwi, Akye Essuman, Bernard Barnie, Charles Mock, Peter Donkor | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 24 January 2022 | Published: 26 April 2022

About the author(s)

Nana K. Ayisi-Boateng, Department of Medicine, School of Medicine and Dentistry, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana
Fred S. Sarfo, Department of Medicine, School of Medicine and Dentistry, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana
Douglas A. Opoku, Family Healthcare Services, Allen Clinic, Kumasi, Ghana
Emmanuel K. Nakua, Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Public Health, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana
Emmanuel Konadu, University Hospital, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana
Phyllis Tawiah, Department of Medicine, School of Medicine and Dentistry, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana
Ruth Owusu-Antwi, Department of Psychiatry, Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital, Kumasi, Ghana
Akye Essuman, School of Medicine, University of Health and Allied Sciences, Ho, Ghana
Bernard Barnie, Department of Surgery, School of Medicine and Dentistry, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana
Charles Mock, Department of Epidemiology, School of Public Health, University of Washington, Washington, United States of America
Peter Donkor, Department of Surgery, School of Medicine and Dentistry, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana


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Abstract

Background: Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias (ADRDs) pose a major public health challenge in older adults. In sub-Saharan Africa, the burden of ADRD is projected to escalate amidst ill-equipped healthcare workers (HCWs).

Aim: This study aimed to assess ADRD knowledge amongst Ghanaian HCWs and improve gaps identified through a workshop.

Setting: Study was conducted among HCWs attending a workshop in Kumasi, Ghana.

Methods: On 18 August 2021, a workshop on ADRD was organised in Kumasi, Ghana, which was attended by 49 HCWs comprising doctors, nurses, pharmacists, social workers and nutritionists. On arrival, they answered 30 pre-test questions using the Alzheimer’s Disease Knowledge Scale (ADKS). A post-test using the same questionnaire was conducted after participants had been exposed to a 4-h in-person educational content on ADRD delivered by facilitators from family medicine, neurology, geriatrics, psychiatry and public health.

Results: The mean age of participants was 34.6 (± 6.82), mean years of practice was 7.7 (± 5.6) and 38.8% (n = 19) were nurses. The mean score of participants’ overall knowledge was 19.8 (± 4.3) at pre-test and 23.2 (± 4.0) at post-test. Participants’ pre-test and post-test scores improved in all ADKS domains. Factors associated with participants’ knowledge at baseline were profession, professional rank and the highest level of education attained. After adjusting for age and sex, participant’s rank, being a specialist (adjusted β = 14.44; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 7.03, 21.85; p < 0.001) was an independent predictor of knowledge on Alzheimer’s disease.

Conclusion: Existing knowledge gaps in ADRD could be improved via continuous medical education interventions of HCWs to prepare healthcare systems in Africa for the predicted ADRD epidemic.


Keywords

Alzheimer’s; dementia; knowledge; health workers; Ghana

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