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Strategies used by care home staff to manage behaviour that challenges in dementia: A systematic review of qualitative studies

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

E-pub ahead of print
Article number104260
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>30/09/2022
<mark>Journal</mark>International Journal of Nursing Studies
Volume133
Number of pages14
Publication StatusE-pub ahead of print
Early online date4/07/22
<mark>Original language</mark>English

Abstract

Background
Psychotropic drugs are often prescribed to manage behaviour that challenges in care home residents with dementia but contravene guidelines as evidence shows their use increases the risk of strokes and death. Therefore, a review is needed that conceptualises understanding of the pharmacological and non-pharmacological strategies implemented by care home staff to manage behaviour that challenges in dementia and the factors that influence decision-making. This knowledge is important to develop dementia guidelines to implement a sustainable non-pharmacological approach to support residents with behaviour that challenges.

Aim
To review qualitative studies to synthesise understanding of strategies implemented by care home staff to manage behaviour that challenges in dementia.

Methods
This systematic review involved a synthesis of qualitative data (PROSPERO protocol registration CRD42020165948). Searches of three electronic databases, PubMed, PsycINFO and CINAHL were conducted from inception until July 2021, supplemented by grey literature searches. Studies were included if they used qualitative methods and explored how care home staff respond to behaviour that challenges; data exploring other aspects of dementia care were excluded. Study quality was assessed using the Critical Appraisal Skills Programme checklist. Thematic synthesis was used to conceptualise understanding of the strategies implemented by care home staff to manage behaviour that challenges in dementia.

Findings
In total 1151 records were identified of which 34 studies were included in the review. Three themes emerged, ‘Putting out the fires’, refers to reactive strategies, implemented by staff to quell behaviour that challenges. However, if these strategies fail, staff may resort to pharmacological approaches for convenience to suppress these behaviours. The theme ‘Personhood, human rights and respect’ highlights the need for people with dementia to feel valued and useful by engaging residents in meaningful activities. Furthermore, the theme “Person focused approach – A paradigm shift” reflects changes in culture, required to implement non-pharmacological strategies to behaviour management these include staff training, collaboration and equitable decision-making.

Conclusions
This review has identified strategies used by care home staff to manage behaviour that challenges. Non-pharmacological approaches to support residents with behaviour that challenges require staff training in behaviour management and psychotropic medicine management as part of their formal education program, and enhanced opportunities for collaboration and decision-making. In addition, residents should receive person focused support to facilitate participation in meaningful activities. These findings will be beneficial in developing guidelines to implement sustainable non-pharmacological approaches to manage behaviour that challenges in dementia.