Online Education Improves Dementia Knowledge: Evidence From an International Intervention

Michael J. Annear*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Dementia education disseminated through massive open online courses (MOOCs) has the potential to improve knowledge and care provision among health professionals and lay people. The potential learning effects of a dementia MOOC were assessed using a reliable and valid measure with international volunteers (N = 3,649) who completed the measure before and after online education. Evaluation of learning effects suggests that the MOOC significantly increased dementia knowledge by at least 17% across six cohorts. Knowledge was improved by the MOOC in three ways: it significantly improved overall understanding of dementia for diverse cohorts; it reduced knowledge disparity within occupational and lay cohorts; and it reduced knowledge disparity across occupational and lay cohorts. The capacity of a dementia MOOC to significantly improve knowledge and reach a wide audience may lead to population-level improvements in understanding about dementia. This may foster improvements in treatment and quality of care for people with dementia.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Applied Gerontology
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2018 Mar 1
Externally publishedYes


  • dementia
  • education
  • knowledge
  • online

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gerontology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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