A comparison of four dementia palliative care services using the RE-AIM framework

Siobhan Fox, Johnathan Drennan, Suzanne Guerin, W.George Kernohan, Aileen Murphy, Niamh O'Connor, Aphie Rukundo, Suzanne Timmons

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Abstract

Background: Living with a life-limiting illness, people with dementia benefit from palliative care which considers the holistic needs of the person and their family. However, little is known about how palliative care may be best provided
to people living with dementia at home in the community. We examined four exemplary dementia palliative care services for people with dementia in the community, to see what activities they were providing, what were the
commonalities and differences, and what lessons could be learned.
Methods: A long-list of dementia palliative care services in Ireland, Northern Ireland, England, Scotland, and Wales, was identified through a survey, and four exemplar services were chosen based on criteria including: in operation >six
months; provides identifiable activities; availability of routinely collected service data; not exclusively for people with dementia in final hours or days of life. Mixed-methods of data collection included interviews, focus-groups and
surveys with service staff, surveys of service users, and routinely collected service data. The RE-AIM framework was used to describe and understand the sample of dementia palliative care services.
Results: The four services had varied organisational structures and were led by different disciplines. However, they all provided common core activities including holistic and person-centred care, early advance care planning with service user involvement, carer support, integrated healthcare services, continuity of care, 24/7 support, bereavement support. All had needs-based referral criteria, accepting any age or dementia sub-type. All supported people with
dementia to remain living at home and to have a comfortable, dignified death in their preferred place.
Conclusions: An effective dementia palliative care service may take different forms. Whether the service is dementia-led or Specialist Palliative Care-led, efficacy is associated with providing a range of key activities and implementing
them effectively. The data collected strongly suggests the benefits of the dementia palliative care services to a person with dementia and their families and offers valuable insight into the key factors for the establishment and successful
running of such services.
Original languageEnglish
Article number677
Pages (from-to)1-12
Number of pages12
JournalBMC Geriatrics
Volume23
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 19 Oct 2023

Bibliographical note

This research was supported by a grant from the Health Research Board,
reference HRB-ILP-2017-20

Funding Information:
This research was supported by a grant from the Health Research Board, reference HRB-ILP-2017-20.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023, BioMed Central Ltd., part of Springer Nature.

Funding Information:
This research was supported by a grant from the Health Research Board, reference HRB-ILP-2017-20.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023, BioMed Central Ltd., part of Springer Nature.

Keywords

  • Dementia
  • palliative Care
  • Community
  • Care
  • Palliative Care
  • Community Care
  • Community Services

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