The authors declare that they have no competing interests
RL carried out expert interviews, contributed to the analysis and the drafting of the manuscript. CB carried out expert interviews, contributed to the analysis and the drafting of the manuscript. CE contributed to the analysis and drafting of the final manuscript. LR contributed to the analysis and drafting of the final manuscript. All authors contributed to the study design and read and approved the final manuscript.
Dementia, of all long term illnesses, accounts for the greatest chronic disease burden, and the number of people with age-related diseases like dementia is predicted to double by 2040. People with advanced dementia experience similar symptoms to those dying with cancer yet professional carers find prognostication difficult and struggle to meet palliative care needs, with physical symptoms undetected and untreated. While elements of good practice in this area have been identified in theory, the factors which enable such good practice to be implemented in real world practice need to be better understood. The aim of this study was to determine expert views on the key factors influencing good practice in end of life care for people with dementia.
Semi-structured telephone and face-to-face interviews with topic guide, verbatim transcription and thematic analysis. Interviews were conducted with experts in dementia care and/or palliative care in England (n = 30).
Four key factors influencing good practice in end of life care for people with dementia were identified from the expert interviews: leadership and management of care, integrating clinical expertise, continuity of care, and use of guidelines.
The relationships between the four key factors are important. Leadership and management of care have implications for the successful implementation of guidelines, while the appropriate and timely use of clinical expertise could prevent hospitalisation and ensure continuity of care. A lack of integration across health and social care can undermine continuity of care. Further work is needed to understand how existing guidelines and tools contribute to good practice.
This article presents independent research funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) under its Programme Grants for Applied Research programme (Grant Reference Number RP-PG-0611-20005). The views expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of the NHS, the NIHR or the Department of Health.
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- Expert views on the factors enabling good end of life care for people with dementia: a qualitative study
Richard Philip Lee
- BioMed Central
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