BackgroundThere is an urgent need for the development of simple communication tools that convey the strengths, assets, and healthcare needs of people living with dementia. A Healthcare Passport may improve communication with range of health and social support services, enhancing quality and continuity of care, and to permit a consideration of the challenges and how these might be managed effectively and compassionately. This study aims to evaluate the acceptability and use of this type of intervention for people living with dementia and their carers.Methods/DesignThis is a qualitative longitudinal study informed by a critical realist review. The participants will be individuals identified as having mild-moderate dementia and informal carers. The in-depth interviews will occur at three points over the course of 18 months as they use the passport. This will be supplemented by analysis of the content of the passports and information from health and social care providers on the daily practicalities of using the passport in a range of healthcare settings.DiscussionBy using a critical realist review and a qualitative, longitudinal approach, the study allows for the assessment of a complex intervention in a manner which goes beyond evaluating the basic efficacy of the passport, but looking more deeply at how it worked, for whom, and in what context. It has the potential to develop new data on how interventions improve communication across a range of service providers, while encouraging health and social care professionals to respect and encourage the development of self-management and retention of personhood throughout the progression of life-limiting illnesses.
Leavey, G., Abbott, A., Watson, M., Todd, S., Coates, V., McIlfactrick, S., ... Curran, E. (2016). The evaluation of a healthcare passport to improve quality of care and communication for people living with dementia (EQuIP): a protocol paper for a qualitative, longitudinal study. BMC Health Services Research, 16(363), 1-6. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12913-016-1617-x