Patient and service-related barriers and facitators to the acceptance and use of interventions to promote communication in health and social care: a realist review

Gerard Leavey, Emma Curran, Deirdre Fullerton, Stephen Todd, Sonja J McIlfatrick, Vivien Coates, Max Watson, Aine Abbott, Dagmar Anna Susanne Corry

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Abstract

Background: More people living into old age with dementia. The complexity of treatment and care, particularly those with multiple health problems, can be experienced as disjointed. As part of an evaluation of a ‘healthcare passport’ for people living with dementia we undertook a realist review of communication tools within health and social care for people living with dementia. Aims: To explore how a ‘healthcare passport’ might work in the ‘real world’ of people living with dementia through a better understanding of the theoretical issues related to, and the contextual issues that facilitate, successful communication. Methods: A realist review was considered the most appropriate methodology to inform the further development and evaluation of the healthcare passport. We undertook a purposive literature search related to communication tools to identify (a) underlying programme theories; (b) published reports and papers on their use in various healthcare settings; (c) evidence on barriers and facliitators of their use. Results: Communication tools were noted as a way of improving communication and outcomes through: (1) improvement of service user autonomy; (2) strengthening the therapeutic alliance; and (3) building integrated care. However, while intuitively perceived to of benefit, evidence on their use is limited and key barriers to their acceptance and use include: (1) difficulties in clearly defining purpose, content, ownership and usage; (2) understanding the role of family caregivers; and (3) preparation among healthcare professionsals. Conclusion: Patient-held communication tools may be helpful to some people living with dementia but will require considerable preparation and engagement with key stakeholders.
Original languageEnglish
Article number503 (2020)
Number of pages15
JournalBMC Health Service Research
Volume20
Issue number503
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 4 Jun 2020

Keywords

  • healthcare passport
  • Communication technologies
  • realist review
  • Dementia
  • Intervention
  • Design and evaluation

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