Health professionals discussion of dementia with older adults : an application of the theory of planned behaviour

Whitehead, Suzanne (1997). Health professionals discussion of dementia with older adults : an application of the theory of planned behaviour. PhD thesis The Open University.

Abstract

This study investigates the factors which might influence health professionals decision whether or not to discuss with the older adults the implications of their progressive memory problems (dementia). Previous research suggests that few older adults with a diagnosis of dementia are informed of their diagnosis (Rice & Warner, 1994; Wolff, Woods & Reid, 1995). Whilst one study found that the majority of people with dementia said that they wished to know their diagnosis (Wolff et al., 1995).

A questionnaire was developed, based on the Theory of Planned Behaviour, to elicit factors which might predict health professionals' choice of whether to discuss with older adults the implications of their dementia. Reliability was demonstrated by the questionnaire, and it was completed by 184 health professionals (namely, nurses and clinical psychologists). The results indicated that most participants would be likely to discuss dementia with older adults they work with (72-82 percent). The relative importance of the Theory of Planned Behaviour components and the anxiety component were, in descending order: subjective norm, anxiety, and perceived behavioural control. Gender and profession did not significantly influence the results. The more experienced participants had of working with older adults with progressive memory problems, the more likely they were to choose to discuss the implications of dementia with the clients. Clinical implications such as facilitating a culture change, methodological issues and avenues for future research are discussed.

Viewing alternatives

Download history

Item Actions

Export

About

Recommendations