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The experience of care staff delivering reminiscence sessions to people with dementia

By Susan Pullan


Literature review. A systematic review of the literature on the effects of reminiscence on communication with people with dementia was conducted. The focus was the impact of reminiscence on communication and implications for care improvement. Reminiscence can potentially improve communication with people with dementia in several ways. Evidence was strongest for improvement in content of communication, following life review interventions. Research report. A qualitative study was carried out to explore the experiences of care staff delivering life storybook sessions to people with dementia. Eleven participants were interviewed, and Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) used for analysis. Six themes were identified: Barriers to Personhood; Meeting the Person through Life Storybooks; Rehumanising the Person; Rehumanising the Professional; a Changed Relationship; and Plans for the Future. The starting context for many was a restrictive environment and a lost/hidden person. Participants were generally able to develop a more intimate connection with the individual person through delivering life storybook sessions. The experience seemed to rehumanise the person and the professional through the development of their relationship beyond formal staff-patient interactions. However, staff plans for future sessions tended to move away from that one to one relationship, perhaps to more effectively manage the complexity of the work. Links to literature on reminiscence, identity, social psychology and social defence systems are explored. Implications for clinical practice arising include involving care staff in delivering life storybook sessions, supported by clinical supervision. Areas for future research include evaluating changes in ward atmosphere and Dementia Care Mapping to explore care improvements from the care receiver perspective. Critical appraisal. An in depth account of the researcher‟s reflections on the experience of the research process is provided. Her personal contribution to design, procedure and analysis, and learning outcomes are explored

Publisher: University of Leicester
Year: 2009
OAI identifier:

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