Dementia training programmes for staff working in general hospital settings – a systematic review of the literature

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Scerri, A ; Innes, A ; Scerri, C (2016)

Objectives: There has been an increased interest in dementia training programmes directed to general hospitals, partly due to the reported lack of staff training that may be contributing to poor quality of care. Although literature describing and evaluating training programmes in hospital settings increased in recent years, there are no reviews that summarise these programmes. This review sought to address this, by collecting the current evidence on dementia training programmes directed to staff working in general hospitals.<br/><br/>\ud Method: Literature from five databases (PubMed, Academic Search Complete, PsychInfo, CINAHL and AgeLine) were searched, based on a number of inclusion criteria. The selected studies were summarised and data was extracted and compared using narrative synthesis based on a set of pre-defined categories. Methodological quality was assessed using Kmet, Lee &amp; Cook (2004) criteria.<br/><br/>\ud Results: Fourteen peer-reviewed studies were identified with the majority being pre-test post-test investigations. No randomised controlled trials were found. Methodological quality was variable with selection bias being the major limitation. There was a great variability in the development and mode of delivery although, interdisciplinary ward based, tailor-made, short sessions using experiential and active learning, were the most utilized approaches. The majority of the studies mainly evaluated learning, with few studies evaluating changes in staff behaviour/practices and patients’ outcomes. <br/><br/>\ud Conclusion: This review indicates that high quality studies are needed that especially evaluate staff behaviours and patient outcomes and their sustainability over time. This review also highlights measures that could be used to develop and deliver training programmes in hospital settings.
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