Hearing and vision health for people with dementia in residential long term care: knowledge, attitudes and practice in England, South Korea, India, Greece, Indonesia and Australia

Piers Dawes*, Iracema Leroi, Nisha Chauhan, Woojae Han, Vijaykumar Harbishettar, Dona M.P. Jayakody, Louise Jones, Adamos Konstantinou, Asri Maharani, Angelita Martini, Antonios Politis, Suhan Prabhakar, Sandra Prew, Costis Prouskas, Gregor Russell, Angus Sturrock, Sri Sunarti, Joanne Taylor, Theofanis Vorvolakos, Mark Worthington

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objectives: Up to 90% of people with dementia in long term care (LTC) have hearing and/or vision impairment. Hearing/vision difficulties are frequently under-recognised or incompletely managed. The impacts of hearing/vision impairment include more rapid cognitive decline, behavioural disturbances, reduced quality of life, and greater care burden. This research investigated LTC staff knowledge, attitudes and practice regarding hearing/vision care needs for residents with dementia.

Methods: A survey of staff in LTC facilities in England, South Korea, India, Greece, Indonesia and Australia. Respondents used a five-point scale to indicate agreement or YES/NO response to questions regarding sensory-cognitive care knowledge (what is known); attitudes (what is thought); practice (what is done).

Results: Respondents reported high awareness of hearing/vision care needs, although awareness of how to identify hearing/vison difficulties or refer for assessment was low. Most felt that residents were not able to use hearing/vision devices effectively due to poor fit, being poorly tolerated or lost or broken devices. A substantial minority of respondents reported low confidence in supporting use of assistive hearing/vision devices, with lack of training the main reason. Most staff did not undertake routine checking of hearing/vision devices, and it was rare for facilities to have designated staff responsible for sensory needs. Variation among countries was not significant after accounting for staff experience and having received dementia training.

Conclusions: There is a need to improve sensory support for people with dementia in LTC facilities internationally. Practice guidelines and training to enhance sensory-cognitive knowledge, attitudes and practice in professional care teams is called for.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1531-1540
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry
Volume36
Issue number10
Early online date30 Apr 2021
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 30 Apr 2021

Bibliographical note

Copyright the Author(s) 2021. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.

Keywords

  • dementia
  • KAPsurvey
  • LTC
  • nursing home
  • shearing care
  • staff training
  • vision care

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