OBJECTIVES: The prevalence of Alzheimer's disease and associated disorders is increasing. Rural residents in the United States have less access to memory care specialists and educational and community resources than in other areas of the country. Over a decade ago, we initiated an interdisciplinary rural caregiving telemedicine program to reach Kentucky residents in areas of the state where resources for supporting individuals with dementia are limited. Telemedicine programs involve a short informational presentation followed by a question and answer session; programs are offered 4 times a year. The purpose of this study was to explore questions asked over 1 year of the rural caregiving telemedicine program-encompassing 5 programs-to identify the scope of dementia-related knowledge gaps among attendees.

METHODS: Questions from the 5 programs were recorded and content analyzed to identify areas of frequent informational requests.

RESULTS: There were a total of 69 questions over the 5 sessions. For each program, questions ended due to time constraints rather than exhausting all inquiries. The most common topical areas of questions related to risk factors, behavioral management, diagnosis, and medications.

DISCUSSION AND IMPLICATIONS: This study highlights that rural caregivers in Kentucky have diverse dementia educational needs. Rural communities may benefit from additional, targeted resources addressing these common areas of unmet informational needs.

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Published in The Journal of Rural Health, v. 37, issue 2.

© 2020 National Rural Health Association

This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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The project described was supported by the National Institute on Aging P30 AG028383. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the NIH.