Integrated Knowledge Translation Strategies that Enhance the Lives of Persons with Dementia and Their Family Caregivers
Purpose: To understand the lived experience of persons with dementia and their family caregivers who receive home care in northern Alberta, Canada, and to reveal how integrated knowledge translation (iKT) strategies influence the uptake of best available dementia care evidence over time.
Sample: Three persons living with dementia and thirteen family caregivers were interviewed at the beginning of the study, nine months after implementation of the knowledge broker (KB), and six months after termination of the KB role (total interviews = 41).
Method: The PARiHS framework guided our longitudinal case study that included two rural home care centres. A qualitative interpretive descriptive approach was used. A KB was hired for 12 months to facilitate the development of different iKT strategies with staff. Site A developed two strategies: 1) a planning meeting to discuss local needs and suggestions for improving access to dementia care information and community supports; and 2) the development of an information package. Site B focused on working through modules of the U-First program that entailed dementia education and training for the home care providers (HCPs). They then used the U-First wheels with clients during their home visits.
Findings: Persons living with dementia spoke of both positive and negative aspects of their dementia journey and how they attempted to manage their lives. Family caregivers struggled to find the best approaches and supports to use to enable their family member with dementia to remain at home for as long as possible. iKT strategies such as a KB, the information resource package developed by the HCPs, use of the U-First modules and wheels, and a support group were examples of effective iKT.
Conclusion: iKT strategies and projects increased access to dementia care information and supports. These assisted caregivers to better care for their family member for longer periods at home.
Keywords: Persons living with dementia, family caregivers, integrated knowledge translation strategies, rural, and home care.
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