Dementia Risk Reduction e-Learning project
Alzheimer's Australia Vic
The Alzheimer's Australia Mind your Mind program aimed to provide online information for general practitioners, community health workers and the general public; web design of the learning resources; and practical, evidence-based strategies for people concerned about their risk of dementia.
It enabled the preventive health messages to be presented in a comprehensive but user-friendly format and to be widely distributed.
The main outcome of the project was the Mind your Mind website, providing information and resources for the general public and for health professionals, as well as quizzes and information about current dementia risk reduction research. They also developed a specific information module for general practitioners and another for lifestyle health workers, thereby making dementia risk reduction information and the evidence upon which
it is based widely available to relevant professionals. Subsequently, research projects have been conducted to evaluate user experiences of the website and determine the
effectiveness of interactive web and mobile based dementia risk reduction
The Mind your Mind website proved to be quite popular and received very positive feedback. There is great interest in the Australian community about how dementia risk might be reduced and a desire for authoritative information on the issue. The website has been formally evaluated in a follow-up research project. It was found that website users generally found the content interesting, informative, relevant and useful. After reading the website, users' knowledge of dementia risk factors and how important these factors were to them both significantly increased. They felt they had learned a lot from the website and liked having such comprehensive and practical information in one place.
The website has been further developed and the program is now called "Your Brain Matters", with Commonwealth Government funding. After the development of the website, they went on to explore further e-learning applications and launched the world’s first smartphone/tablet application (called BrainyApp) on dementia risk reduction. BrainyApp has received 250,000 downloads and is currently being developed for Spanish and Dutch versions in the respective countries. BrainyApp was awarded the Victorian Health Care Innovation Gold Award for optimising health care through e-health and communication technology in 2012. The auDA grant was a contributor to the process that evolved into this outcome.
How were obstacles overcome?
The first stage of the site developed was primarily information pages, but they found they were able to effectively provide both information about the current evidence and practical strategies and resources in this format, that proved to be of interest and use to the Australian community. Since then they have included interactive elements into the site http://www.yourbrainmatters.org.au. The site has been used for a national 21 Day Brain Challenge which was linked to advertising on television, radio, print media and cinemas.