Concept mapping to improve team work, team learning and care of the person with dementia and behavioural and psychological symptoms

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Abstract

The incidence of behavioural and psychological symptoms of dementia in residential aged care facilities is high. Effective team work and knowledgeable staff are cited as important facilitators of appropriate care responses to clients with these symptoms, but to achieve this within a resource-poor workplace can be challenging. In the study reported in this paper, concept mapping was trialled to enhance multifocal person-centred assessment and care planning as well as team learning. The outcomes of team concept mapping were evaluated using a quasi-experimental design with pre- and post-testing in 11 selected Australian residential aged care facilities , including two control residential aged care facilities , over a nine-month period. It was demonstrated that use of concept mapping improved team function, measured as effectiveness of care planning, as well as enhancing learning, with increased knowledge of dementia care even amongst staff who were not directly involved with the process. It is suggested that these results may be generalizable to other countries and care settings.

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