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Int J Older People Nurs. 2010 Jun;5(2):148-58. doi: 10.1111/j.1748-3743.2010.00219.x.

The use of life story work with people with dementia to enhance person-centred care.

Author information

1
Department of Professional and Practice Development, Sheffield Health and Social Care NHS FT, Sheffield, UK. jane.mckeown@shsc.nhs.uk

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Person-centred care has been linked with quality of care but difficulties remain in person-centred care being implemented in care practice. This study explores the use of life story work to enhance person-centred care with people with dementia.

AIMS AND OBJECTIVES:

The study investigates how life story work is: understood and developed in practice; experienced by all participants and affects the delivery and outcomes of care.

DESIGN AND METHODS:

The experience of older people with dementia, family carers and care staff in using life story work was explored within an NHS Health and Social Care Trust. A multiple case study design was adopted within a constructivist approach. Semi-structured interviews, observation, conversations were employed.

FINDINGS:

Life story work has the potential to: enable care staff to see the person behind the patient; allow family carers to uphold their relatives' personhood; enable the voice of the person with dementia to be heard, verbally and non-verbally; be enjoyable for all concerned and enable the person with dementia to feel proud about themselves and their lives.

CONCLUSION AND IMPLICATIONS FOR PRACTICE:

Life story work has the potential to enhance person-centred care for older people with dementia and their families. Taking a practice development approach ensures that life story work can be implemented sensitively and is sustained in practice.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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