Educating home carers on faecal continence in people with dementia
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Educating home carers on faecal continence in people with dementia

Leanne Clemesha Continence adviser, Blue Care, Brisbane Central, Queensland, Australia
Elizabeth Davies Head, School of Nursing (Queensland), Australian Catholic University, Australia

Aim To measure the effect of education on the knowledge of home carers in maintaining faecal continence for people with dementia.

Method The quasi-experimental study involved pre-testing of carer knowledge, educational intervention and post-testing of their knowledge. The Carer Knowledge Questionnaire, specifically developed for use in the study, measured pre- and post-intervention knowledge levels. Knowledge scores and associations between categorical variables of interest were analysed.

Results Before education, carers demonstrated high knowledge levels of factors that can cause faecal incontinence and low knowledge levels of strategies to promote and maintain faecal continence. Post-testing revealed a statistically significant increase in total knowledge scores (p<0.001). Specifically, knowledge regarding faecal continence increased in four main areas: contributing factors, implications of constipation, effectiveness of specific strategies and awareness of factors unrelated to dementia that can have an impact on faecal continence.

Conclusion Education of home carers has been shown to increase knowledge of faecal continence.

Nursing Standard. 18, 34, 33-40. doi: 10.7748/ns2004.


Peer review

This article has been subject to double blind peer review