Post-diagnostic allied health interventions for people with dementia in Australia: A spotlight on current practice

The Agents of Change Collaborative Group

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Abstract

Objective: The Clinical Practice Guidelines for Dementia in Australia provide evidence-based recommendations for the assessment, diagnosis, and care of people with dementia and their informal carers. The extent to which current Australian post-diagnosis care reflects these recommendations is not well understood. This brief report provides a snapshot of current practice related to three key recommendations from the Guidelines: occupational therapy, exercise, and informal carer support. Results: Nursing (n = 3) and allied health clinicians (n = 29) provided data about 1114 consultations with people with dementia and/or informal carers over a 9-month study period. Results showed that delivery of evidence-based dementia care remains a significant challenge in Australia. Clinicians found it difficult to tailor exercise interventions to overcome cognitive and organisational barriers to adherence during and between consultations. Occupational therapists primarily focussed on functional assessment rather than on delivering evidence-based interventions. Clinicians also found it difficult to identify and address the array of needs reported by informal carers, especially when the person with dementia is present during the consultation. Though these results are reported by a selected sample, they emphasise the need for innovative knowledge translation strategies to facilitate widespread quality improvement in post-diagnosis dementia care. Trial registration Registered with the Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry 21 February 2018 (ACTRN12618000268246)

Original languageEnglish
Article number559
JournalBMC Research Notes
Volume12
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 4 Sep 2019

Bibliographical note

(CC-BY 4.0) This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.

Keywords

  • Aged care
  • Allied health
  • Carer support
  • Dementia
  • Exercise
  • Occupational therapy
  • Post-diagnosis care

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