Providing high quality acute hospital care for patients with dementia is an increasing challenge as the prevalence of the disease rises. Informal carers of people with dementia are a critical resource for improving inpatient care, due to their insights into patients’ needs and preferences. We summarise informal carers’ perspectives of acute hospital care to inform best practice service delivery.
We conducted a systematic search of bibliographic databases and sought relevant grey literature. We used thematic synthesis analysis to assimilate results of the studies and describe components of care that influence perceived quality.
Twenty papers met the inclusion criteria. Findings identified four overarching components of care that influenced carer experience and their perceptions of care quality: ‘Patient care’, ‘Staff interactions’, ‘Carer’s situation’ and ‘Hospital environment’. Need for improvement was identified in staff training, provision of help with personal care needs, and dignified treatment of patients. Carers need to be informed, involved and supported during hospital admission in order to promote the most positive experience.
This review identifies common perspectives of informal carers of people with dementia in the acute hospital setting and highlights important areas to address to improve the experience of an admission for both carer and patient.
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