Interprofessional education in the care of people diagnosed with dementia and their carers: a systematic review.

Jackson, Marcus, Pelone, Ferruccio, Reeves, Scott, Hassenkamp, Anne Marie, Emery, Claire, Titmarsh, Kumud and Greenwood, Nan (2016) Interprofessional education in the care of people diagnosed with dementia and their carers: a systematic review. BMJ Open, 6(8), e010948. ISSN (online) 2044-6055


OBJECTIVES: This systematic review is linked to the multifaceted social, economic and personal challenges of dementia and the international recognition of the value of interprofessional education (IPE) and its influence on health and social care outcomes. This review therefore aimed to identify, describe and evaluate the impact of IPE interventions on health and social care practitioners (prequalification and postqualification) understanding of dementia, the quality of care for people with dementia and support for their carers. METHODS: Following PRISMA guidelines, 9 databases were searched (MEDLINE, EMBASE, The Cochrane Library, PsycINFO, CINAHL Plus, Applied Social Sciences Index and Abstracts, Healthcare Management Information Consortium, ERIC and British Education Index). Narrative analysis of the findings was undertaken. DESIGN: Systematic review. RESULTS: 6 studies meeting the inclusion criteria were identified. The majority of studies were conducted in North America. Participants in 4 studies were health and social care practitioners caring for people with dementia, whereas the remaining studies focused on training graduate or undergraduate students. Diverse IPE activities with varying content, delivery mode and duration were reported. Although some studies reported more positive attitudes to interprofessional working as a result of the interventions, none reported benefits to patients or carers. The quality of the included studies varied. Overall, the evidence for the reported outcomes was considered weak. CONCLUSIONS: This review identified 6 studies describing IPE interventions intended to improve collaborative knowledge, skills, interprofessional practice and organisational awareness of dementia and dementia care. The small number of studies, their varied nature, scope and settings combined with poor quality of evidence limits our understanding of the effectiveness of IPE on the care and support of people with dementia and their carers. Further research is required to develop the evidence base and provide robust studies to inform IPE development. TRIAL REGISTRATION NUMBER: CRD42014015075.

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