Title : Presentation Improving transitions of care for persons with dementia from the hospital to the long-term care setting: A mixed methods study
The transition of care for persons with dementia (PWD) from the hospital to long-term care facility is associated with significant stress, lack of communication, and adverse events. Efforts to improve the transition process have mainly assessed only healthcare professional perspectives. An original study using a mixed methods design was conducted to produce knowledge on priority aspects of care to facilitate the initial transition from hospital to the long-term care setting for persons with dementia. The mixed-methods study consisted of using focus groups composed of persons with dementia and family caregivers followed by a Delphi method survey with healthcare professionals to elicit the priority aspects of the transition of care from hospital to long-term care facility for persons with dementia. The findings provide evidence that a majority of the priority aspects from the perspective of PWD, family caregivers and healthcare professionals are similar. One priority aspect focuses on developing a routine for PWD. PWD agreed they should always be included while healthcare professionals agreed that this should be based on the PWD’s cognitive ability. Another priority involved providing family with effective support, education and resources. Professional staff considerations consisted of education for healthcare staff. Medication management considerations included no delays in medication administration and proper review of medications. Assisting families with the care planning process, such as financial planning, legal aspects, and paperwork were seen as a priority. Improving communication with advances in technology and having family responsibilities properly communicated was agreed upon. Priority aspects of the initial transition from hospital to long-term care facility for PWD can inform clinical practice guidelines and assist healthcare providers with working toward improvements in transitions of care.
Audience Take Away:
- The findings from the research are particularly relevant for improving safety and quality of transitions in care and can inform the future development of interventions targeting patients and families.
- The priority aspects of care concerning the transition from the hospital to the long-term care setting for the first time may be especially informative to healthcare professionals who coordinate the transition.
- An important next step will be to implement these findings into practice to examine the influence on safety and quality of transitions in care for persons with dementia and their family members.