Australian long-term care personnel’s knowledge and attitudes regarding palliative care for people with advanced dementia

Tim Luckett, Georgina Luscombe, Jane Phillips, Elizabeth Beattie, Lynnette Chenoweth, Patricia M. Davidson, Stephen Goodall, Dimity Pond, Geoffrey Mitchell, Meera Agar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

This study aimed to describe Australian long-term care (LTC) personnel’s knowledge and attitudes concerning palliative care for residents with advanced dementia, and explore relationships with LTC facility/personnel characteristics. An analysis was undertaken of baseline data from a cluster randomised controlled trial of facilitated family case conferencing for improving palliative care of LTC residents with advanced dementia (the ‘IDEAL Study’). Participants included any LTC personnel directly involved in residents’ care. Knowledge and attitudes concerning palliative care for people with advanced dementia were measured using the questionnaire on Palliative Care for Advanced Dementia. Univariate and multivariate analyses explored relationships between personnel knowledge/attitudes and facility/personnel characteristics. Of 307 personnel in the IDEAL Study, 290 (94.5%) from 19/20 LTCFs provided sufficient data for inclusion. Participants included 9 (2.8%) nurse managers, 59 (20.5%) registered nurses, 25 (8.7%) enrolled nurses, 187 (64.9%) assistants in nursing/personal care assistants and 9 (3.1%) care service employees. In multivariate analyses, a facility policy not to rotate personnel through dementia units was the only variable associated with more favourable overall personnel knowledge and attitudes. Other variables associated with favourable knowledge were a designation of nursing manager or registered or enrolled nurse, and having a preferred language of English. Other variables associated with favourable attitudes were tertiary level of education and greater experience in dementia care. Like previous international research, this study found Australian LTC personnel knowledge and attitudes regarding palliative care for people with advanced dementia to be associated with both facility and personnel characteristics. Future longitudinal research is needed to better understand the relationships between knowledge and attitudes, as well as between these attributes and quality of care.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalDementia
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2019

Keywords

  • attitudes
  • dementia
  • knowledge
  • long-term care
  • palliative care
  • surveys and questionnaires

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Social Sciences(all)

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    Luckett, T., Luscombe, G., Phillips, J., Beattie, E., Chenoweth, L., Davidson, P. M., Goodall, S., Pond, D., Mitchell, G., & Agar, M. (Accepted/In press). Australian long-term care personnel’s knowledge and attitudes regarding palliative care for people with advanced dementia. Dementia. https://doi.org/10.1177/1471301219886768