Dementia-friendly wards: a review of the literature and pilot study of patient interaction and daily activity engagement

Eastham, Amy Jayne and Cox, Diane ORCID logo ORCID: (2017) Dementia-friendly wards: a review of the literature and pilot study of patient interaction and daily activity engagement. International Journal of Health Governance, 22 (1). pp. 25-36.

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Purpose: The purpose of this paper, practice-based mixed methods small-scale study, is to explore the design features of a “dementia friendly” acute ward environment and, staff views on the implications of daily activity engagement for patients with dementia.

Design/methodology/approach: Eight staff members of the multidisciplinary team who work full time on an acute “dementia friendly” ward completed semi-structured questionnaires. Thematic analysis explored responses to the open-ended questions, and a further environmental assessment tool rated features of the “dementia friendly” ward design, on promoting aspects of well-being in patients with dementia.

Findings: Six overarching themes were found. These included: contrasting ward colours; clear ward signage; positive staff interaction; memorabilia, and activity rooms and items, had a positive influence on patient interaction, well-being and engagement in daily activities. The audit scores were rated highly for various aspects of the ward design. These included: the ward design promoting patient interaction, well-being, mobility, orientation, continence, eating and drinking and calm and security.

Research limitations/implications: This practice-based small-scale study highlights the importance that a “dementia friendly” ward environment may have on patient engagement and well-being, from a daily activity perspective. Further research into the key aspects of design that enable meaningful daily activity engagement is required.

Practical implications: This study supports staff perceived views of the positive influence that “dementia friendly” design may have for patients with dementia. Both the physical design modifications of the ward and staff interaction were highlighted as positively influencing patient well-being, and daily activity engagement. Staff members also felt that they needed to balance the clinical ward priorities, with the contextual requirements of patients with dementia, to establish an effective “dementia friendly” ward.

Originality/value: The value of this research is the combined consideration of an environmental assessment tool and qualitative interviews with members of the multidisciplinary team.

Item Type: Article
Journal / Publication Title: International Journal of Health Governance
Publisher: Emerald
ISSN: 2059-4631
Departments: Professional Services > Research Office & Graduate School (ROGS)
Depositing User: Anna Lupton
Date Deposited: 19 Aug 2016 15:12
Last Modified: 12 Jan 2024 17:02


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