Factors associated with dementia care practices among community health nurses: Results of a postal survey

Hsiu Li Huang*, Yea Ing Lotus Shyu, Huei Ling Huang*, Sien Tsong Chen, Hsiao Juan Li, Ming Neng Shiu, Mei Chi Pong

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: The incremental prevalence of dementia is making dementia management a worldwide issue. The role of community health nurses must grow along with the increasing aging population and the resulting increase in dementia cases. Objectives: Explore the factors related to dementia care practices among the different types of community health nurses in Taiwan. Design: Cross-sectional study. Setting: Primary care centers or institutions in New Taipei City. Participants: Community health nurses who work in health care centers (district nurses), long-term care centers (care managers), or home care institutions (home health care nurses). Methods: Self-completion questionnaires sent by mail. Results: A total of 195 participants returned the questionnaires (response rate 81.9%). Although 65.8% of participants had experience in case finding, just 34.6% of them reported using validated cognitive testing tools. Only 15% of participants provided case management following dementia case findings. The regression models showed that the different types of community health nurses, number of years working as a nurse, and their level of confidence was significantly related to their dementia care practice. District nurses identified significantly less suspected dementia cases and provided less nursing care to caregivers of dementia patients than care managers and home health care nurses. Among community health nurses, the care managers most often used formal cognitive instruments. District nurses provided the least amount of supportive resources information, had the most negative attitude and the lowest level of confidence toward dementia care than care managers and home health care nurses. Conclusions: This study presented the profiles of dementia care practice in Taiwan. It showed the considerable variation in knowledge, attitude, confidence and dementia care practices among the different community health nurses. The professional roles regarding dementia care in Taiwan remain blurred. Future training must focus on promoting the level of confidence of community health nurses to identify and manage people with dementia and raise awareness about demented person's and their caregiver's need. The priority of the policy on dementia care in the community must be raised to high, and the professional responsibilities and roles of the different types of community health nurses for the ever increasing dementia population in Taiwan must be redefined and optimized.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1219-1228
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Nursing Studies
Volume50
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2013

Keywords

  • Attitude
  • Community health nurse
  • Confidence
  • Dementia care

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