Specialist nursing and community support for the carers of people with dementia living at home: an evidence synthesis.

Article English OPEN
Bunn, F ; Goodman, C ; Pinkney, E ; Drennan, VM (2016)

Specialist nurses are one way of providing support for family carers of people with dementia, but relatively little is known about what these roles achieve, or if they are more effective than roles that do not require a clinical qualification. The aim of this review was to synthesise the literature on the scope and effectiveness of specialist nurses, known as Admiral Nurses, and set this evidence in the context of other community-based initiatives to support family carers of people with dementia. We undertook a systematic review of the literature relating to the scope and effectiveness of Admiral Nurses and a review of reviews of interventions to support the family carers of people with dementia. To identify studies, we searched electronic databases, undertook lateral searches and contacted experts. Searches were undertaken in November 2012. Results are reported narratively with key themes relating to Admiral Nurses identified using thematic synthesis. We included 33 items relating to Admiral Nurses (10 classified as research) and 11 reviews evaluating community-based support for carers of people with dementia. There has been little work to evaluate specific interventions provided by Admiral Nurses, but three overarching thematic categories were identified: (i) relational support, (ii) co-ordinating and personalising support and (iii) challenges and threats to the provision of services by Admiral Nurses. There was an absence of clearly articulated goals and service delivery was subject to needs of the host organisation and the local area. The reviews of community-based support for carers of people with dementia included 155 studies but, in general, evidence that interventions reduced caregiver depression or burden was weak, although psychosocial and educational interventions may reduce depression in carers. Community support for carers of people with dementia, such as that provided by Admiral Nurses, is valued by family carers, but the impact of such initiatives is not clearly established.
  • References (82)
    82 references, page 1 of 9

    Alzheimer's Association (2010) Alzheimer's disease facts and figures. Available at: http://www.alz.org/documents_custom/report_alzfactsfigures2010.pdf (accessed on 13/12/ 2013).

    Alzheimer's Research Trust (2010) Dementia 2010: The Economic Burden of Dementia and Associated Research Funding in the United Kingdom. A report produced by the Health Economics Research Centre, University of Oxford for the Alzheimer's Research Trust, Alzheimer's Research UK, Cambridge Available at: http://www.herc.ox.ac.uk/ pubs/downloads/dementiafullreport (accessed on 13/ 12/2013).

    Aranda K. & Jones A. (2008) Exploring new advanced practice roles in community nursing: a critique. Nursing Inquiry 15, 3-10.

    Armstrong M. (2001) The pressures felt by informal carers of people with dementia. Nursing Standard 15, 47-53.

    Armstrong M. (2008) Network. Admiral nursing direct: an update. Journal of Dementia Care 16, 10.

    Bradaty H., Green A. & Koschera A. (2003) Meta-analysis of psychosocial interventions for caregivers of people with dementia. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society 51, 657-664.

    Braker T. (2007) Supporting carers of people with dementia. Nursing Times.

    Brodaty H. & Donkin M. (2009) Family caregivers of people with dementia. Dialogues in Clinical Neuroscience 11, 217.

    Brodaty H., Dresser R., Eisner M. et al. (1999) Alzheimer's Disease International and International Working Group for Harmonization of Dementia Drug Guidelines for research involving human subjects with dementia. Alzheimer Disease and Associated Disorders 13, 71-79.

    Bunn F., Goodman C., Sworn K. et al. (2012) Psychosocial factors that shape patient and carer experiences of dementia diagnosis and treatment: a systematic review of qualitative studies. PLoS Medicine 9, e1001331.

  • Related Research Results (2)
  • Metrics
    No metrics available
Share - Bookmark