The purpose of this paper is to explore multidisciplinary attitudes and environmental factors affecting dementia care in the Cardiac Catheter Laboratory (CCL).
Questionnaires (n=87) were distributed in a hospital CCL in the North of England. The authors utilised the Dementia Attitudes Scale which incorporates two subscales: Social Comfort and Dementia Knowledge. In addition, a newly devised questionnaire asking about perceptions of how the CCL environment affected care of patients with dementia was added.
The response rate was 71 per cent (n=62). Years’ experience in the CCL was associated with lower Social Comfort scores (p=0.026). Dementia training was associated with higher mean Dementia Attitudes Scale and Social Comfort scores (p=0.021, p=0.007). Participants who had undertaken “Professional studies” had higher Dementia Attitudes Scale and Dementia Knowledge mean scores (p=0.038, p=0.046) but “On-the-job” training was perceived as most beneficial (32 per cent, n=20). Unit co-ordinators and nurses felt the CCL was an unfavourable environment for patients with dementia. Care was perceived to be impaired by environmental functionality, equipment and the presence of ionising radiation.
The small sample limits generalisability. Although the Dementia Attitudes Scale is a validated questionnaire it has not been widely used so reliability of these results is unclear.
Caring for patients with dementia has unique challenges especially in areas like the CCL. These results suggest that practical experience and training can affect the perception of staff to patients with dementia hence there may be a need to assess what would be the most appropriate training to give health professionals in the future.
The authors believe this to be the first multi-professional research study into care of patients with dementia in a specialised acute unit. This was the most diverse sample known to have attitudes to dementia measured quantitatively in an acute hospital department and the results need to be replicated before practice should be changed.
The following individuals and organisations are acknowledged for their contributions: Dr Malcolm Campbell (Lecturer in Statistics, The University of Manchester), for his statistical advice, guidance, exceptional patience and dedication; The National Institute for Health Research, for funding for Karen’s Masters in Clinical Research and making this research possible; The University of Manchester (School of Nursing, Midwifery and Social Work), for delivering high quality education and guidance throughout the Masters in Clinical Research course; Karen’s clinical mentor and participants who contributed to this research; Professor John Keady for his invaluable advice on the manuscript during its preparation.
Ainsworth, K. and Richardson, C. (2017), "Multidisciplinary attitudes to people with dementia; training and environmental factors play a role in caring for people with dementia in a Cardiac Catheterisation Laboratory", Quality in Ageing and Older Adults, Vol. 18 No. 4, pp. 235-245. https://doi.org/10.1108/QAOA-10-2015-0050Download as .RIS
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