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Dementia in a regional hospital setting: contextual challenges and barriers to effective care

Annear, MJ ORCID: 0000-0003-4474-2543 and Lucas, P ORCID: 0000-0001-6949-9207 2018 , 'Dementia in a regional hospital setting: contextual challenges and barriers to effective care' , International Journal of Ageing and Later Life, vol. 12, no. 1 , pp. 91-119 , doi:

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Dementia is a growing public health problem, which may be under-recognised and poorly managed in regional hospitals. With projections of increasing dementia among older adults in regional and rural areas, knowledge about dementia and capacity of professionals to provide best-evidence care is paramount. This research investigates the challenges of dementia care in a publicly funded regional hospital in Australia. The study elucidates prevalence of dementia-related admissions, costs of treatment, length of stay and capacity for dementia care. A mixed methodology was employed in this study, including analysis of hospital records (N = 2405), dementia knowledge surveys (n = 50) and semi-structured interviews with clinical staff (n = 13). Hospital records showed that dementia-related admissions were lower than population prevalence reported in regional Australia. Dementia patients, however, attracted significantly higher treatment costs and greater length of stay than age-matched admissions who did not have a diagnosis of dementia. Clinicians reported several obstacles to effective dementia care, including staff knowledge deficits, environmental challenges, resource constraints and organisational factors.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Annear, MJ and Lucas, P
Keywords: dementia, barriers, care quality, regional hospital
Journal or Publication Title: International Journal of Ageing and Later Life
Publisher: Linkoeping University Electronic Press
ISSN: 1652-8670
DOI / ID Number:
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copyright the Authors 2018. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0)

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