Personal information documents for people with dementia: healthcare staff’s perceptions and experiences

Baillie, Lesley and Thomas, Nicola (2018). Personal information documents for people with dementia: healthcare staff’s perceptions and experiences. Dementia (Early Access).

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/1471301218778907

Abstract

Person-centred care is internationally recognised as best practice for the care of people with dementia. Personal information documents for people with dementia are proposed as a way to support person-centred care in healthcare settings. However, there is little research about how they are used in practice. The aim of this study was to analyse healthcare staff’s perceptions and experiences of using personal information documents, mainly Alzheimer’s Society’s ‘This is me’, for people with dementia in healthcare settings. The method comprised a secondary thematic analysis of data from a qualitative study, of how a dementia awareness initiative affected care for people with dementia in one healthcare organisation. The data were collected through 12 focus groups (n=58 participants) and 1 individual interview, conducted with a range of healthcare staff, both clinical and non-clinical. There are four themes presented: Understanding the rationale for personal information documents; Completing personal information documents; Location for personal information documents and transfer between settings; Impact of personal information documents in practice. The findings illuminated how healthcare staff use personal information documents in practice in ways that support person-centred care. Practical issues about the use of personal information documents were revealed and these may affect the optimal use of the documents in practice. The study indicated the need to complete personal information documents at an early stage following diagnosis of dementia, and the importance of embedding their use across care settings, to support communication and integrated care.

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