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Forward with Dementia: process evaluation of an Australian campaign to improve post-diagnostic support.

BACKGROUND: Forward with Dementia is a co-designed campaign to improve communication of dementia diagnosis and post-diagnostic support.

METHODS: Webinars, a website, social and traditional media, and promotions through project partners were used to disseminate campaign messages to health and social care professionals (primary audience) and people with dementia and carers (secondary audience). The campaign ran between October 2021 and June 2022, with 3-months follow-up. The RE-AIM framework was used for process evaluation. Measurements included surveys and interviews, a log of activities (e.g. webinars, social media posts) and engagements (e.g. attendees, reactions to posts), and Google Analytics.

RESULTS: There were 29,053 interactions with campaign activities. More than three-quarters of professionals (n = 63/81) thought webinars were very or extremely helpful. Professionals and people with dementia and carers reported that the website provided appropriate content, an approachable tone, and was easy to use. Following campaign engagement, professionals planned to (n = 77/80) or had modified (n = 29/44) how they communicated the diagnosis and/or provided post-diagnostic information and referrals. Qualitative data suggested that the campaign may have led to benefits for some people with dementia and carers.

CONCLUSIONS: Forward with Dementia was successful in terms of reach, appropriateness, adoption and maintenance for professionals, however flow-through impacts on people with dementia are not clear. Targeted campaigns can potentially change health professionals' communication and support around chronic diseases such as dementia.

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