Patient dementia and clinical interaction in frontline radiography: mapping the practical experiences of junior clinicians in the UK

Miller, Paul K., Booth, Lisa and Spacey, Adam (2017) Patient dementia and clinical interaction in frontline radiography: mapping the practical experiences of junior clinicians in the UK. In: UK Radiological Congress, 12-14 June 2017, Manchester Central Convention Centre, Manchester, UK. (Unpublished)

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Background: A rapidly ageing UK population and a corollary increase in the numbers of individuals suffering from dementia syndromes is causing a range of structural problems for healthcare services, and practice-oriented problems for frontline clinical staff (Kasteridis et al., 2016). A number of studies in the broader field of allied healthcare has recently emerged pertaining to the nuanced problems that will increasingly emerge as an output of working with patients with dementia, and the equally nuanced solutions that a practitioner might (or might not) find, especially around interpersonal communication (Het, Verkaik, Mistiaen, van Meijel, & Francke, 2015; Nazarko, 2015; Webb & Dening, 2016). Within this corpus, it is reported that junior practitioners of all orders are in a particular position of disadvantage (Baillie, Cox, & Merritt, 2012; Tullo, Young, & Lee, 2016), working with an ever-increasing number of patients with dementia, but without having yet accrued the levels of direct professional experience conventionally thought to be key to developing “expertise” in professional performance (Yielder, 2006). No research has to date, however, directly addressed this broad matter within the radiological professions.

Methods: Extended semi-structured interviews with six junior diagnostic radiographers in the UK (mean experience in diagnostic radiography = 3.5 years) were analysed using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA).

Results: Three superordinate themes were identified: 1. Confidence, experience and education. 2. Practical and technological constraints on effective practice. 3. Complexities of carer input. Participants’ lack of confidence around their knowledge of dementia, and regular treatment of the condition as a ‘generic’ thing in practice, sometimes damaged clinical interaction, particularly when the participant was feeling institutional time pressures. Education for new professionals was seen as lacking in both quantity and context-relevance, with implications for professional confidence and legal ethical practice. Carers/family were viewed as both a positive and negative force within an examination, and technological advances in radiography were taken to be clinically advantageous, but also sometimes actively detrimental to the effective interpersonal care of patients with dementia.

Conclusions: Although necessarily limited in scale and classical generalisability, as are all qualitative studies of this order, the radiography-specific findings develop a number of themes for further investigation, with discussed transferability for other radiological domains.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Poster)
Departments: Academic Departments > Medical & Sport Sciences (MSS) > Health and Medical Sciences
Depositing User: Paul Miller
Date Deposited: 16 May 2017 09:42
Last Modified: 06 Jul 2021 10:17


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