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


Annear, MJ and Lucas, P, Dementia in a regional hospital setting: contextual challenges and barriers to effective care, International Journal of Ageing and Later Life, 12, (1) pp. 91-119. ISSN 1652-8670 (2018) [Refereed Article]


Copyright Statement

copyright the Authors 2018. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0)

DOI: doi:10.3384/ijal.1652-8670.17344


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 Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:dementia, barriers, care quality, regional hospital
Research Division:Health Sciences
Research Group:Health services and systems
Research Field:Aged health care
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Specific population health (excl. Indigenous health)
Objective Field:Health related to ageing
UTAS Author:Annear, MJ (Dr Michael Annear)
UTAS Author:Lucas, P (Dr Peter Lucas)
ID Code:129108
Year Published:2018
Deposited By:Paramedicine
Deposited On:2018-11-09
Last Modified:2018-12-14
Downloads:111 View Download Statistics

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