Background People with dementia have been found to have their palliative care needs overlooked (Achterberg et al ., 2013) and to lack access to specialist palliative care (Sampson, 2010). Using a mixed method design this present study seeks to further explore palliative care for people with dementia across three key stages.
Stage 1: Updating facts and figures concerning the number of people with palliative care needs and additional dementia needs.
A secondary analysis of adult death certificates, will be undertaken by Public Health Wales and a rapid review of accessible epidemiological evidence, will also be undertaken to establish what has changed since the Tebbit Report published in 2005.
Stage 2: Synthesis of published qualitative studies on caring for people with palliative care needs and dementia.
Published qualitative studies were identified in online electronic databases, critically appraised using CASP and synthesised using a thematic synthesis approach. The findings of the studies were coded according to different stakeholder perspectives including Health care professionals (HCPs), patients with dementia and family members/caregivers. Confidence in synthesised findings was assessed with CERQual. The findings revealed a consensus among stakeholders regarding facilitators associated with benefiting from palliative care including sensitive caregiving. Differences in perspectives were identified regarding challenges, with HCPs attributing this to assessment and symptom management, whereas family members/caregivers noted challenges associated with managing their guilt. The findings highlight the importance of dementia training for HCPs and supportive services for family members/caregivers.
Stage 3: Interview study with staff in specialist palliative care settings.
In-depth, semi-structured interviews were conducted with health care professionals working in palliative care settings, to ascertain their perspectives on caring for people with palliative care needs and dementia. Framework analysis will be used to analyse the data, using an a priori coding framework developed from the synthesis of qualitative studies.
*Study will be finished by September 2015
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