Nurses’ attitudes towards caring for people with dementia in acute hospital settings: a literature review
evidence and practice    

Nurses’ attitudes towards caring for people with dementia in acute hospital settings: a literature review

Bernie Reid Lecturer, School of Nursing, Ulster University, Londonderry, Northern Ireland
Ciara Harvey Nursing Student, School of Nursing, Ulster University, Londonderry, Northern Ireland

Why you should read this article:
  • To be aware that people with dementia are often admitted to acute hospitals

  • To understand why people with dementia often receive suboptimal care in acute hospitals

  • To know how to improve the knowledge base of acute hospital nurses with regards to people with dementia

People with dementia are often admitted to acute hospital settings and it is essential that nurses recognise their complex needs. However, research shows that this patient group often experiences suboptimal care in acute hospital settings as well as increased mortality rates.

This article reports the findings of a literature review into the attitudes of nurses who care for patients with dementia in acute hospital settings. It sets out the findings under four themes: the unworthy patient, safety before care, breaking routines and knowledge in dementia care. These themes detail nurses’ negative attitudes towards these patients, but also identify that a person-centred approach can support more positive attitudes. The review concludes that acute hospital nurses require education about caring for people with dementia to foster more positive attitudes. Also, there is a need for further research into why nurses hold various attitudes to people with dementia and the association between these attitudes and care outcomes.

Nursing Older People. doi: 10.7748/nop.2020.e1244

Peer review

This article has been subject to external double-blind peer review and has been checked for plagiarism using automated software

Correspondence

bb.reid@ulster.ac.uk

Conflict of interest

None declared

Reid B, Harvey C (2020) Nurses’ attitudes towards caring for people with dementia in acute hospital settings: a literature review. Nursing Older People. doi: 10.7748/nop.2020.e1244

Published online: 22 July 2020

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