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Int J Ment Health Nurs. 2010 Dec;19(6):402-8. doi: 10.1111/j.1447-0349.2010.00703.x.

Reconciling mental health recovery with screening and early intervention in dementia care.

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  • 1School of Nursing, Dublin City University, Dublin, Ireland.


If early intervention in dementia care is to be enhanced, it is important to have a critical debate over how this should be realized. In this paper, we offer a synthesis of two approaches to care: mental health recovery and person-centred care, and apply them to early-stage dementia care. 'Person-centred care' has become a catchphrase for good dementia care. However, many people have not experienced improvements in care, and other lynch pin concepts, such as 'mental health recovery', might have utility in driving reform. The similarities and differences between the two approaches are drawn out, and the difficulties of using the word 'recovery' when discussing a degenerative disease are highlighted. The implications of this discussion for early intervention are discussed. It could be seen that the two bodies of knowledge have much to offer each other, despite initial dissonance with the label of recovery in dementia care.

© 2010 The Authors. International Journal of Mental Health Nursing © 2010 Australian College of Mental Health Nurses Inc.

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