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Group photo of all of the staff on the dementia team
Brighton & Sussex Medical School



The Time for Dementia programme is a new method of training students and research is being carried out to assess outcomes with students and families taking part. The research component is an optional aspect of the programme and is offered to students and families taking part. There are two phases to the research, Phase 1; Initial evaluation and Phase 2; Evaluation of the iterative development of Time for Dementia programme.

3 people in a group sitting around a table in discussion

Phase One  

The first phase of the evaluation commenced in 2015 when the programme started and was completed in March 2018. The evaluation of Time for Dementia used a mixed methods design, and involved students receiving the programme as well as those who did not, and included families involved in the programme.  This phase sought to answer the following questions;

  • What is the impact of the programme on student learning about dementia?
  • What are the experiences on the families and students who are involved?
  • How might the programme be improved?
  • What is the impact of taking part in the programme on the families involved?

Our preliminary findings at both 12 and 24 months show positive changes in knowledge and attitudes to dementia, and we have observed statistically significant improvements in both dementia knowledge and attitudes in the Time for Dementia intervention group compared to the control group.

From our qualitative research with students, we know that they gained knowledge of what it might be like to live with dementia, are more aware of the psycho-social impact of dementia, that their confidence and skills in communicating with people with dementia has improved, and that they have more awareness of the impact and role of carers.

From our qualitative interviews with families, we know that families feel motivated to take part in the programme for altruistic purposes and wish to raise awareness and increase knowledge about dementia. 

The experience of taking part has been of value to families, many have enjoyed taking part, helping student learn and making a difference. Carers also felt it gave them an opportunity to have their voice heard in their caring journey.  

Many families were very happy with the students who visited, describing them as friendly, warm and professional. Families reported that it gave hope for future generations of healthcare professionals.  They recognised and appreciated the fact that their involvement would have an important role to play in student learning. 

Families have also felt the person with dementia benefited from the social aspect of the student visits in their own home. 

"The programme has given me a valuable insight into what it is really like to be and care for someone with dementia" - Time for Dementia student

"Time for Dementia has been great and a really important experience for me" - Time for Dementia student


Phase Two

Phase two of the evaluation commenced in 2018 and will be completed in March 2022. Phase 2 will have a pre/post mixed methods design in which students and family carers are assessed before and after completing the programme.

Additionally, newly qualified students will be followed up into practice. Students enrolled into both phases of the study will be assessed on their knowledge and attitudes towards the condition. Individuals with dementia (and their carers) will be assessed on their satisfaction and the impact of the programme. Phase 2 will continue to collect data from medical, nursing and paramedic, and speech and language therapy students, but in addition will include occupational therapy, physiotherapy and radiography students. Phase two aims: 

  • To evaluate the iterative development of the programme in terms of process and its impact on student attitudes, understanding, knowledge and behaviours towards dementia, people with long term conditions, and older adults. 
  • To evaluate the satisfaction and views of patients and carers enrolled in the programme, and to assess its impact on patient quality of life and carer burden. 

Funded by: Health Education England working across Kent, Surrey and Sussex (HEE KSS)
PI: Prof Sube Banerjee 
Research Lead: Dr Stephanie Daley
Status: In progress

If you are interested in hearing more about the research or wish to be involved, you can contact the team.
Research Lead: Dr Stephanie Daley
Tel: The Time for Dementia research team: 01273 873817