Recognition of preclinical signs of dementia: A qualitative study exploring the experiences of family carers and professional care assistants.

Jenkins, Catharine and Feldman, Gerald (2018) Recognition of preclinical signs of dementia: A qualitative study exploring the experiences of family carers and professional care assistants. Journal of Clinical Nursing, 27. pp. 1931-1940. ISSN 09621067

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Abstract

Aims and objectives: The aim of the study was to identify pre-clinical signs of dementia by exploring the experiences of family care-givers and professional care assistants.
Background: Dementia results in disability, emotional strain and financial loss for people with dementia, family members and nations. Informal identification of social and behavioural risk signifiers could facilitate timely interventions with potential to delay onset of serious disability.
Design: A retrospective qualitative approach using a naturalistic interpretive design was used. Focus groups enabled in-depth understanding of the participants’ experiences of life or work with people who subsequently developed dementia.
Methods: Purposive sampling was used to recruit family carers and professional carers who had cared for people who later developed dementia. The data from focus groups were fully transcribed, and anonymised; and transcripts analysed by two researchers. These researchers coded and analysed the transcripts independently; subsequently overlapping and similar themes were identified and consensus reached on final themes. A third researcher was invited to review the analysis and ensure trustworthiness of the study findings.
Results: Findings revealed that pre-clinical signs of dementia were identifiable in retrospect Participants’ accounts resulted in four themes, ‘Lowered Threshold of Frustration’’ (LTF), ‘Insight and Coping Strategies’, ‘Early signs of poor memory’ and ‘Alarming Events’.
Conclusions: Earlier recognition of pre-clinical signs of dementia would allow affected individuals to follow health promotion advice and plan for the future. Identification of social exclusion prior to diagnosis has implications for anti-stigma campaigns and development of ‘dementia-friendly communities’.
Relevance to clinical practice: Health care professionals could work with those at risk, facilitating lifestyle changes to postpone symptoms and advance planning for improved autonomy. Pre-dementia should be viewed as a disability for which reasonable adjustments can be made at a community level, to enhance and extend emotional well-being and social inclusion.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Dementia, pre-clinical, risk, health promotion, social inclusion
Subjects: B700 Nursing
Divisions: REF UoA Output Collections > REF2021 UoA 03: Allied Health Professions, Dentistry, Nursing & Pharmacy
Depositing User: Catharine Jenkins
Date Deposited: 28 Jan 2019 13:42
Last Modified: 28 Jan 2019 13:42
URI: http://www.open-access.bcu.ac.uk/id/eprint/6841

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