Exploring the sensory screening experiences of nurses working in long-term care homes with residents who have dementia: a qualitative study.
ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND:The prevalence of vision and hearing loss is higher amongst older individuals with dementia, as well as higher in long-term care settings than in the wider community. However, the incidence of sensory impairment is underreported and often goes untreated. In this study, we aimed to understand nurses' current experiences of screening and caring for long-term care residents who have dementia and sensory impairment. METHODS:As part of a larger study on the sensory screening of long-term care residents with dementia, an environmental scan was conducted with front-line healthcare providers. We report here on the findings from the content analysis of individual, semi-structured interviews with nurses working in two long-term care homes in Southern Ontario, Canada. Twenty regulated nurses, including designated resident assessment coordinators, working full- or part-time with individuals who have dementia, participated across the two sites. All interviews were transcribed, and their contents reviewed and coded for themes by means of inductive thematic analysis. RESULTS:Following a systematic and recursive approach, three analysts identified several themes relating to: 1) the sensory screening process, 2) communication strategies, and 3) quality of life, sensory loss, and dementia. Participants reported on the strengths and limitations of screening procedures, what improvements should be made, which informal strategies are effective, and the continued professional development that is needed. CONCLUSIONS:Nurses demonstrated insight into the facilitators and barriers to effective screening and care of residents with dementia and sensory impairments, and expressed the need for further education, more suitable screening tools, and formalised accountability within the screening process for vision and hearing loss in these long-term care residents.
Project description:OBJECTIVES:This study aimed to identify screening tools, technologies and strategies that vision and hearing care specialists recommend to front-line healthcare professionals for the screening of older adults in long-term care homes who have dementia. SETTING:An environmental scan of healthcare professionals took place via telephone interviews between December 2015 and March 2016. All interviews were audio recorded, transcribed, proofed for accuracy, and their contents thematically analysed by two members of the research team. PARTICIPANTS:A convenience sample of 11 professionals from across Canada specialising in the fields of vision and hearing healthcare and technology for older adults with cognitive impairment were included in the study. OUTCOME MEASURES:As part of a larger mixed-methods project, this qualitative study used semistructured interviews and their subsequent content analysis. RESULTS:Following a two-step content analysis of interview data, coded citations were grouped into three main categories: (1) barriers, (2) facilitators and (3) tools and strategies that do or do not work for sensory screening of older adults with dementia. We report on the information offered by participants within each of these themes, along with a summary of tools and strategies that work for screening older adults with dementia. CONCLUSIONS:Recommendations from sensory specialists to nurses working in long-term care included the need for improved interprofessional communication and collaboration, as well as flexibility, additional time and strategic use of clinical intuition and ingenuity. These suggestions at times contradicted the realities of service provision or the need for standardised and validated measures.
Project description:OBJECTIVE:Based on two scoping reviews and two environmental scans, this study aimed at reaching consensus on the most suitable sensory screening tools for use by nurses working in long-term care homes, for the purpose of developing and validating a toolkit. SETTING:A mixed-methods consensus study was conducted through two rounds of virtual electronic suitability rankings, followed by one online discussion group to resolve remaining disagreements. PARTICIPANTS:A 12-member convenience panel of specialists from three countries with expertise in sensory and cognitive ageing provided the ranking data, of whom four participated in the online discussion. OUTCOME MEASURES:As part of a larger mixed-methods project, the consensus was used to rank 22 vision and 20 hearing screening tests for suitability, based on 10 categories from the Quebec User Evaluation of Satisfaction with Assistive Technology questionnaire. Panellists were asked to score each test by category, and their responses were converted to z-scores, pooled and ranked. Outliers in assessment distribution were then returned to the individual team members to adjust scoring towards consensus. RESULTS:In order of ranking, the top 4 vision screening tests were hand motion, counting fingers, confrontation visual fields and the HOT-V chart, whereas the top 4 hearing screening tests were the Hearing Handicap Inventory for the Elderly, the Whisper Test, the Measure of Severity of Hearing Loss and the Hyperacusis Questionnaire, respectively. CONCLUSIONS:The final selection of vision screening tests relied on observable visual behaviours, such as visibility of tasks within the central or peripheral visual field, whereas three of the four hearing tests relied on subjective report. Next, feasibility will be tested by nurses using these tools in a long-term care setting with persons with various levels of cognitive impairment.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Managing hearing communication for residents living with hearing loss and dementia in long-term care settings is challenging. This paper explores how care can be effective in optimising hearing communication for residents living with dementia. We argue that the underlying notion of permission or authorisation allows care staff to do what they know will be effective in providing person-centred care that enhances hearing communication. The paper also indicates that this notion of permission can usefully be applied to other areas of care home practice. METHODS:To address hearing-related communication in care homes, we conducted a realist synthesis (RS). As a theory-driven approach to reviewing literature, it also uses expert opinion to understand complex health situations. Using RS, we developed a theory surrounding the management of hearing-related communication in care homes. Applying formal processes to the literature search and data extraction, the analysis uncovered relevant mechanisms and contexts to help confirm, refute or refine our understanding of how hearing communication could be improved. RESULTS:Forty-three papers were selected for the realist synthesis. The documents were analysed to construct five context-mechanism-outcome configurations (CMOCs). The CMOCs represent possible care interventions to optimise hearing-related communication in care homes for person living with dementia and hearing loss (PLWDHL). They include leadership promoting positive regard and empathy through person-centred care, communication training for staff, 'knowing the person' and relationship building for responsive awareness of residents' hearing needs, maintaining and monitoring hearing communication through care planning, and managing noise in the care home environment. CONCLUSIONS:Leadership that provides appropriate training and resources is likely to enhance knowledge and skills, leading to staff feeling able and equipped to respond to the hearing-related communication needs of PLWDHL. Collaboration with local hearing services is likely to raise awareness of hearing loss among care home staff. Importantly, care staff require a sense of permission from leadership, to work with knowledge and autonomy in the interest of residents living with dementia and hearing loss.
Project description:OBJECTIVE:Oral medicines are frequently modified (eg, tablets crushed) for older adults. However, these modifications can have clinical, legal and/or ethical implications. Nurses bear responsibility for medicine administration and hence, perform these modifications. The aim of this study was to investigate the knowledge, attitudes and beliefs of nurses about oral medicine modification for older adults. DESIGN:A qualitative study was conducted using semi-structured, face-to-face interviews with nurses providing care to older adults in acute and long-term care settings. Interviews were audio-recorded, transcribed verbatim and analysed thematically. SETTINGS:Sixteen purposively selected care settings; 4 acute-care and 12 long-term care settings were included. Nurses were recruited by convenience sampling at these sites. PARTICIPANTS:Eighteen nurses participated (83% female, 67% long-term care, 33% acute-care, median age (IQR) 38 years (32.5-52.0)). RESULTS:Three major themes: modifying-a necessary evil, nurses' role as patient advocate and modifying-we are working very much as a team and two minor themes: fractional dosing, and covert administration emerged from the data. Nurses viewed oral medicine modifications as being a routine and necessary occurrence in geriatric patient care due to limitations of available formulations and the presence of age-related challenges in drug administration. Nurses' knowledge of residents' requirements ensured that they advocate for those with individualised formulation needs, however, nurses rely on pharmacists for information about modifications. Nurses expressed a desire for supports including increased education and ward-specific, pharmacist-developed recommendations on common modifications. CONCLUSIONS:This study has provided useful insights into the views of nurses regarding oral medicine modification for older adults. The unique and varied formulation requirements of older adults must be acknowledged. Increased engagement by healthcare professionals, the pharmaceutical industry, regulatory agencies and policy-makers is required to facilitate the development of age-appropriate formulations. In the interim, practical interventions, informed by the findings of this study, are required.
Project description:Dementia has become a major public health issue worldwide due to its rapidly increasing prevalence and an increasing number of dementia-related deaths in long-term care facilities. The aim of this study was to examine health professionals' experiences of potential barriers and facilitators in providing palliative care for people with severe dementia in long-term care facilities.This was a qualitative descriptive study. The data were collected from four focus groups and 20 individual in-depth interviews with healthcare professionals from four Norwegian nursing homes. The data were analysed by thematic text analysis, as described by Braun and Clarke.The major findings indicate that healthcare professionals experience a lack of continuity as the main barrier to facilitating palliative care. Time pressure and increased efficiency requirements especially affect the weakest and bedridden residents with dementia. The healthcare professionals feel conflicted between wanting to spend more time caring for each individual resident and feeling pressure to help everyone. Although resources are scarce, dying residents are always given priority by healthcare professionals, either by the hiring of extra personnel or the reorganization of tasks in a way that facilitates someone staying with the terminal resident. Advanced care planning was highlighted as a facilitator in providing palliative care, but the extensive use of temporary staff among nurses and doctors and the relocation between the sheltered and long-term wards threaten the continuity in planning and providing palliative care.The findings indicate that healthcare professionals experienced several structural barriers that prevented the provision of palliative care to people with severe dementia in long-term care facilities. Increasing demands for economic rationality lead to a lack of continuity of care. Organizational changes, such as measures to increase the competence and the proportion of permanent employees and the prevention of burdensome end-of-life transitions, should be implemented to improve continuity and quality of care.
Project description:Quality of dementia care improves with a personalized approach to aged care, and knowledge of the disease process and unique care needs of residents with dementia. A personalized model of care can have a significant impact on the overall organizational culture in aged care homes. However, the dimensions of personalized aged care relating to dementia often remain under-managed. We aim to explore the factors that shape the dimensions of personalized dementia care in rural nursing homes using qualitative data of a mixed-method 'Harmony in the Bush' dementia study. The study participants included clinical managers, registered nurses, enrolled nurses and care workers from five rural aged care homes in Queensland and South Australia. One hundred and four staff participated in 65 semi-structured interviews and 20 focus groups at three phases: post-intervention, one-month follow-up and three-months follow-up. A multidimensional model of nursing home care quality developed by Rantz et al. (1998) was used in data coding and analysis of the factors. Three key themes including seven dimensions emerged from the findings: resident and family [resident and family centeredness, and assessment and care planning]; staff [staff education and training, staff-resident interaction and work-life balance]; and organization [leadership and organizational culture, and physical environment and safety]. A lack of consideration of family members views by management and staff, together with poorly integrated, holistic care plan, limited resources and absence of ongoing education for staff, resulted in an ineffective implementation of personalized dementia care. Understanding the dimensions and associated factors may assist in interpreting the multidimensional aspects of personalized approach in dementia care. Staff training on person-centered approach, assessment and plan, and building relationships among and between staff and residents are essential to improve the quality of care residents receive.
Project description:OBJECTIVE:To gain insights into the problems of dual sensory impaired older adults in long-term care. Insights into these problems are essential for developing adequate policies which address the needs of the increasing population of dual sensory impaired older adults in long-term care. METHODS:A qualitative study was conducted in parallel with a cluster randomized controlled trial. Dual sensory impaired older adults in the intervention group (n = 47, age range 82-98) were invited by a familiar nurse to identify the problems they wanted to address. Data were taken from the semi-structured intervention diaries in which nurses noted the older adults' verbal responses during a five-month intervention period in 17 long-term care homes across the Netherlands. The data were analyzed using descriptive statistics and qualitative content analysis based on the Grounded Theory. FINDINGS:The 47 dual sensory impaired older adults identified a total of 122 problems. Qualitative content analysis showed that the older adults encountered participation problems and problems controlling what happens in their personal environment. Three categories of participation problems emerged: (1) existential concerns of not belonging or not being able to connect with other people, (2) lack of access to communication, information and mobility, and (3) the desire to be actively involved in care delivery. Two categories of control-in-personal-space problems emerged: (1) lack of control of their own physical belongings, and (2) lack of control regarding the behavior of nurses providing daily care in their personal environment. CONCLUSIONS:The invasive problems identified indicate that dual sensory impaired older adults experience great existential pressures on their lives. Long-term care providers need to develop and implement policies that identify and address these problems, and be aware of adverse consequences of usual care, in order to improve dual sensory impaired residents' autonomy and quality of life.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Nursing homes are among the most common places of death in many countries. AIM:To determine the quality of dying and end-of-life care of nursing home residents in six European countries. DESIGN:Epidemiological survey in a proportionally stratified random sample of nursing homes. We identified all deaths of residents of the preceding 3-month period. Main outcomes: quality of dying in the last week of life (measured using End-of-Life in Dementia Scales - Comfort Assessment while Dying (EOLD-CAD)); quality of end-of-life care in the last month of life (measured using Quality of Dying in Long-Term Care (QoD-LTC) scale). Higher scores indicate better quality. SETTING/PARTICIPANTS:Three hundred and twenty-two nursing homes in Belgium, Finland, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland and England. Participants were staff (nurses or care assistants) most involved in each resident's care. RESULTS:Staff returned questionnaires regarding 1384 (81.6%) of 1696 deceased residents. The End-of-Life in Dementia Scales - Comfort Assessment while Dying mean score (95% confidence interval) (theoretical 14-42) ranged from 29.9 (27.6; 32.2) in Italy to 33.9 (31.5; 36.3) in England. The Quality of Dying in Long-Term Care mean score (95% confidence interval) (theoretical 11-55) ranged from 35.0 (31.8; 38.3) in Italy to 44.1 (40.7; 47.4) in England. A higher End-of-Life in Dementia Scales - Comfort Assessment while Dying score was associated with country ( p?=?0.027), older age ( p?=?0.012), length of stay ?1?year ( p?=?0.034), higher functional status ( p?<?0.001). A higher Quality of Dying in Long-Term Care score was associated with country ( p?<?0.001), older age ( p?<?0.001), length of stay ?1?year ( p?<?0.001), higher functional status ( p?=?0.002), absence of dementia ( p?=?0.001), death in nursing home ( p?=?0.033). CONCLUSION:The quality of dying and quality of end-of-life care in nursing homes in the countries studied are not optimal. This includes countries with high levels of palliative care development in nursing homes such as Belgium, the Netherlands and England.
Project description:To explain the current delivery of healthcare to residents living in UK care homes.Qualitative interview study using a grounded theory approach.6 UK care homes and primary care professionals serving the homes.Of the 32 participants, there were 7 care home managers, 2 care home nurses, 9 care home assistants, 6 general practitioners (GPs), 3 dementia outreach nurses, 2 district nurses, 2 advanced nurse practitioners and 1 occupational therapist.5 themes were identified: complex health needs and the intrinsic nature of residents' illness trajectories; a mismatch between healthcare requirements and GP time; reactive or anticipatory healthcare?; a dissonance in healthcare knowledge and ethos; and tensions in the responsibility for the healthcare of residents. Care home managers and staff were pivotal to healthcare delivery for residents despite their perceived role in social care provision. Formal healthcare for residents was primarily provided via one or more GPs, often organised to provide a reactive service that did not meet residents' complex needs. Deficiencies were identified in training required to meet residents' needs for both care home staff as well as GPs. Misunderstandings, ambiguities and boundaries around roles and responsibilities of health and social care staff limited the development of constructive relationships.Healthcare of care home residents is difficult because their needs are complex and unpredictable. Neither GPs nor care home staff have enough time to meet these needs and many lack the prerequisite skills and training. Anticipatory care is generally held to be preferable to reactive care. Attempts to structure care to make it more anticipatory are dependent on effective relationships between GPs and care home staff and their ability to establish common goals. Roles and responsibilities for many aspects of healthcare are not made explicit and this risks poor outcomes for residents.
Project description:INTRODUCTION:Antipsychotic medications are commonly used in long-term care to treat neuropsychiatric symptoms of dementia despite concerns that their risks (eg, infection, falls, death) may outweigh their benefits. This study protocol outlines the development and pilot testing of a decision aid for antipsychotic medications that is tailored to the information needs of residents with dementia in long-term care and family caregivers (or decision makers). The goals of the decision aid are to help residents and caregivers (1) better understand the risks and benefits of antipsychotic medications in long-term care, and (2) make informed decisions about their use (or non-use). METHODS AND ANALYSIS:This multiphased study is being conducted between October 2016 and September 2018. In phase I, the decision aid will be developed after consultation with a steering group, review of scientific evidence on outcomes associated with pharmacological treatments for neuropsychiatric symptoms of dementia in long-term care, review of guidelines for the use of antipsychotic medications in long-term care, and review of guidelines for writing health information for patients and families. The decision aid will also be alpha-tested and redrafted, as necessary, in phase I. In phase II, implementation and reporting guidelines for the decision aid will be developed in collaboration with Directors of Care in long-term care. In phase III, the decision aid will be (1) beta-tested with residents with dementia in long-term care and caregivers not involved in the design phase, and (2) assessed by an external panel of experts. ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION:Ethical approval for this study has been granted by the Research Ethics Board at the University of Saskatchewan, approval number Beh 16-465. Findings from this study will be disseminated via conference presentations, publications, presentations to policy makers and plain language summaries to residents with dementia in long-term care and their caregivers.