A review implies that staff dementia awareness training, by itself alone, may not improve dementia care and / or the outcomes for patients with dementia in hospital. It appears that additional strategies such as support for staff in implementing their learning and the provision of further resources from senior staff with expertise in dementia care are likely to be equally important for improving actual practice and patient outcomes.
This study identifies “context-mechanism-outcome” configurations which are beneficial for promoting dementia-friendly care in acute settings:
- Appreciation of communication difficulties in persons living with dementia and sensitivity in the appreciation of their unmet needs.
- Higher recognition of the roles of health care assistants in improving hospital care.
- Endorsement from senior management which promotes staff’s confidence in adopting changes to care practices.
- Easier permission to adapt working practices to provide better dementia care.
- Availability of staff in sufficient numbers.
- Alignment of ward priorities with person-centred approaches to care.
Conversely, it appears that an undue preoccupation with risk is likely to restrict patient choice and increase patient distress.
Handley, M. Bunn, F. [and] Goodman, C. (2017). Dementia-friendly interventions to improve the care of people living with dementia admitted to hospitals: a realist review. BMJ Open. July 16th 2017; 7(7): e015257.
What Are Realist Approaches?
Further information / explanation is available.