Therapeutic lying in dementia care
Art & Science Previous     Next

Therapeutic lying in dementia care

Helen Culley Biomedical postgraduate student, Newcastle University
Robert Barber Consultant old-age psychiatrist and honorary clinical senior lecturer, Older peoples’ mental health services, Centre for the Health of the Elderly, Campus for Ageing and Vitality, Northumberland Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust, Newcastle upon Tyne
Angela Hope Project co-ordinator, Dementia Services, Centre for the Health of the Elderly, Campus for Ageing and Vitality, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust, Newcastle upon Tyne
Ian James Head of Newcastle Psychology and Challenging Behaviour, Dementia Services, Centre for the Health of the Elderly, Campus for Ageing and Vitality, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust, Newcastle upon Tyne

As part of a service evaluation, a questionnaire and a 12-item set of guidelines on the use of therapeutic lies were sent electronically to 76 psychiatrists in north east England; 38% (n = 29) of the psychiatrists responded. Approximately three quarters of the respondents (n = 21) thought the guidelines could improve communication skills, but only half (n = 15) felt the guidelines provided an ethical guide to practice. Of note is the fact that 69% (n = 20) of the respondents said they had lied to someone lacking capacity when it was deemed to be in the person’s best interests and 66% (n = 19) said they had sanctioned the use of lies by carers. These results are discussed, alongside qualitative information to explore the use of therapeutic lies in dementia care.

Nursing Standard. 28, 1,35-39. doi: 10.7748/ns2013.09.28.1.35.e7749

Correspondence

ianandrew.james@ntw.nhs.uk

Peer review

This article has been subject to double blind peer review

Received: 04 April 2013

Accepted: 02 July 2013