Reducing dementia risk through education: the Preventing Dementia MOOC

Presenter: Dr Maree Farrow, University of Tasmania

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About the presentation

It is estimated perhaps a third of dementia cases could be avoided by modifying particular health behaviours in the population, leading to calls for major public health interventions to address these risk factors. The understanding of dementia risk is poor and media reports frequently highlight prevention strategies for which there is little or no evidence. Therefore, a vital step in a dementia risk reduction public health intervention is to increase understanding about the major modifiable and non-modifiable risk factors. The Wicking Dementia Research and Education Centre offers the Preventing Dementia Massive Open Online Course (PD-MOOC) which, the goal of which is to build self-efficacy in knowledge and management of modifiable dementia risk factors as well as an ability to appraise evidence related to such risk. Since being developed in 2016, the PD-MOOC has attracted over 125,000 enrolments from across the world. Our research program evaluating the PD-MOOC has indicated course participants apply what they learn, leading to significant shifts in risk-related behaviours. In this regard, the PD-MOOC can be regarded as a multi-domain intervention based on a knowledge translation pathway where the individual embraces evidence leading to subsequent behaviour change.

About the presenter

Dr Maree Farrow is a Senior Lecturer and Academic Lead for the Preventing Dementia MOOC at theWicking Dementia Research and Education Centre, University of Tasmania. She teaches into the Master of Dementia program, leading the Public Health and Dementia stream. Dr Farrow also leads the ongoing curriculum development of the Preventing Dementia Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) and a comprehensive research program evaluating the outcomes of the course for participants and their dementia risk. Her research has a knowledge translation focus, developing and evaluating resources to build community knowledge and capacity around dementia risk reduction.

Further information: [email protected]

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