Using virtual care interventions to provide person-centred care to hospitalised older people with dementia
evidence and practice    

Using virtual care interventions to provide person-centred care to hospitalised older people with dementia

Lillian Hung Clinical Nurse Specialist, Vancouver General Hospital, Vancouver, Canada

Why you should read this article:
  • To recognise the benefits of virtual care interventions in providing person-centred care to patients with dementia in hospital

  • To understand the barriers to the implementation of virtual care interventions for hospitalised older people with dementia

  • To learn about the experiences of hospitalised older people with dementia using an iPad

Background Being in an unfamiliar environment away from family can exacerbate emotional stress in hospitalised older people with dementia. Technology solutions can be used to address their mental and emotional health needs.

Aim To generate greater understanding of technology adoption and to test strategies supporting virtual care interventions in hospitalised older people with dementia, such as the use of an iPad to connect them with their family members.

Method Older people with dementia in two Canadian hospitals were observed and interviewed to explore their experiences of using an iPad. Focus groups were conducted with staff and interviews were undertaken with two frontline nurses and three research partners with lived experience of dementia in hospitalised older people. Data were thematically analysed in collaboration with 12 stakeholders. Strategies to overcome the barriers identified were tested as part of the study.

Findings There were three main barriers to implementing virtual care interventions: lack of familiarity with the technology; difficulties with operating the device; and privacy and connectivity issues. Strategies to overcome these barriers included providing personalised support, working with users to support adaptation, and ensuring privacy and optimal connectivity.

Conclusion Using an iPad has the potential to enable hospitalised older people with dementia to connect with their family members and take part in activities that support person-centred care. This is particularly important in times, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, when restrictions to hospital visits lead to social isolation.

Nursing Older People. doi: 10.7748/nop.2020.e1294

Peer review

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

@nurselillian

Correspondence

lillian.hung@vch.ca

Conflict of interest

None declared

Hung L (2020) Using virtual care interventions to provide person-centred care to hospitalised older people with dementia. Nursing Older People. doi: 10.7748/nop.2020.e1294

Published online: 11 November 2020

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