Qualitative research explores the views of general practitioners (GPs), people with dementia and their carers concerning the uses of assistive technology in dementia care. This study, based on community care settings in the North East of England, identifies four main themes: (i) awareness and experience of assistive technology, (ii) access to information using assistive technology, (iii) roles and responsibilities in the care system and (iv) recommendations for the future commissioning of assistive technology services.
All participants used assistive technology in practice. People with dementia and their families usually work from personal experience, without guidance from health and social care professionals. GPs’ knowledge tends largely to follow patient-led learning. It appears that people with dementia and their family carers are themselves primarily responsible for the gradual increase in awareness and use of assistive technology in dementia care, presently.
The authors identify a need for clearer information pathways for assistive technology; these are perceived to be essential for service providers and service commissioners. GPs require a better appreciation of the potential of assistive technology to ensure families living with dementia receive appropriate information and support. The authors urge simplification of complex community care pathways, recommending a single point of access with a named lead professional to help coordinate care.
Newton, L. Dickinson, C. [and] Gibson, G. [et al] (2016). Exploring the views of GPs, people with dementia and their carers on assistive technology: a qualitative study. BMJ Open. May 13th 2016, Vol.6(5), e011132. (Click here to view the PubMed abstract).