Document Type



Doctor of Philosophy



Date of Defense


Graduate Advisor

Dr. Kathleen Haywood, Ph.D


Dr. Cody Ding, Ph.D

Dr. Wilma Calvert, Ph.D

Dr. David Carr, M.D.



Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) has been classified as the most common form of dementia. Primary health care providers are usually the first clinicians to whom individuals present with symptoms of dementia. By 2050, it is expected that as many as 13.8 million Americans will be living with AD, and millions more will be placed in the challenging role of providing care for these individuals. However, studies continue to show that dementia is often underdiagnosed and under detected. The purpose of the study was to systematically inquire about the impact of AD education on level of knowledge about AD among primary health care providers. Knowledge was tested on a standardized Alzheimer's Disease Knowledge Scale (ADKS) that included seven content knowledge domains. A Web-based learner-focused instructional module about AD was created to to assure comprehensive content coverage and content relevance while upgrading conceptual knowledge about AD. In this study, a quasi-experimental 2 x 2 factorial design with repeated measures was implemented. The study participants (N=57) consisted of volunteer primary health care provider trainees who were randomly assigned to the treatment group (N=30) or the control group (N= 27). AD education about Alzheimer’s disease was the independent variable and level of knowledge overall and within the seven content knowledge domains on the ADKS was the dependent variable. The results indicated there were no differences between groups. It is possible that a ceiling effect on the ADKS measure existed as scores clustered toward the upper limits of the ADKS scale, even on the pretest and for both groups. In conclusion, AD education delivered in this format showed no differential benefit. The questions on the ADKS might not have been difficult enough to measure true knowledge of the learners. This study should be repeated with a different measure of AD knowledge.