Skip to main content
×
×
Home

Communication skills training in dementia care: a systematic review of effectiveness, training content, and didactic methods in different care settings

  • Eva Eggenberger (a1) (a2), Katharina Heimerl (a1) and Michael I. Bennett (a3)
Abstract

Background: Caring for and caring about people with dementia require specific communication skills. Healthcare professionals and family caregivers usually receive little training to enable them to meet the communicative needs of people with dementia. This review identifies existent interventions to enhance communication in dementia care in various care settings.

Methods: We searched MEDLINE, AMED, EMBASE, PsychINFO, CINAHL, The Cochrane Library, Gerolit, and Web of Science for scientific articles reporting interventions in both English and German. An intervention was defined as communication skills training by means of face-to-face interaction with the aim of improving basic communicative skills. Both professional and family caregivers were included. The effectiveness of such training was analyzed. Different types of training were defined. Didactic methods, training content, and additional organizational features were qualitatively examined.

Results: This review included 12 trials totaling 831 persons with dementia, 519 professional caregivers, and 162 family caregivers. Most studies were carried out in the USA, the UK, and Germany. Eight studies took place in nursing homes; four studies were located in a home-care setting. No studies could be found in an acute-care setting. We provide a list of basic communicative principles for good communication in dementia care. Didactic methods included lectures, hands-on training, group discussions, and role-play.

Conclusion: This review shows that communication skills training in dementia care significantly improves the quality of life and wellbeing of people with dementia and increases positive interactions in various care settings. Communication skills training shows significant impact on professional and family caregivers’ communication skills, competencies, and knowledge. Additional organizational features improve the sustainability of communication interventions.

Copyright
Corresponding author
Correspondence should be addressed to: Eva C. Eggenberger, MSc, MD, Department of Palliative Care and Organizational Ethics, IFF-Faculty for Interdisciplinary Research Vienna, University of Klagenfurt, 1070 Vienna, Austria. Phone: +43-1-522 4000–101; Fax: +43-1-522 4000–178. Email: eva.eggenberger@aau.at.
References
Hide All
Adams, T. and Gardiner, P. (2005). Communication and interaction within dementia care triads: developing a theory for relationship-centred care. Dementia, 4, 185205.
Allen-Burge, R. (2001). Increasing communication among nursing home residents. Journal of Clinical Geropsychology, 7, 213230.
Beer, C.et al. (2011). Development and evaluation of an educational intervention for general practitioners and staff caring for people with dementia living in residential facilities. International Psychogeriatrics, 23, 221229.
Brodaty, H., Green, A. and Koschera, A. (2003). Meta-analysis of psychosocial interventions for caregivers of people with dementia. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, 51, 657664.
Burgio, L. D.et al. (2001). Come talk with me: improving communication between nursing assistants and nursing home residents during care routines. Gerontologist, 41, 449460.
Burgio, L. D., Stevens, A., Burgio, K. L., Roth, D. L., Paul, P. and Gerstle, J. (2002). Teaching and maintaining behavior management skills in the nursing home. Gerontologist, 42, 487496.
Burns, R., Nichols, L. O., Martindale-Adams, J., Graney, M. J. and Lummus, A. (2003). Primary care interventions for dementia caregivers: 2-year outcomes from the REACH study. Gerontologist, 43, 547555.
Chapman, A. and Law, S. (2009). Bridging the gap: an innovative dementia learning program for healthcare assistants in hospital wards using facilitator-led discussions. International Psychogeriatrics, 21, S5863.
Cherry, D. L.et al. (2009). Educating primary care physicians in the management of Alzheimer's disease: using practice guidelines to set quality benchmarks. International Psychogeriatrics, 21, 4452.
Chung, J. C. and Lai, C. K. (2002). Snoezelen for dementia. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, Art. No. CD003152.
Davies, E. and Higginson, I. J. (2004). The Solid Facts: Palliative Care. Copenhagen: World Health Organization.
Done, D. J. and Thomas, J. A. (2001). Training in communication skills for informal carers of people suffering from dementia: a cluster randomized clinical trial comparing a therapist led workshop and a booklet. International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, 16, 816821.
Doyle, C. (2009). International perspectives on dementia education, training and knowledge transfer. International Psychogeriatrics, 21, S1S2.
Fleming, R. and FitzGerald, D. (2009). Large-scale training in the essentials of dementia care in Australia: dementia care skills for aged care workers project. International Psychogeriatrics, 21, S53S57.
Folstein, M. F., Folstein, S. E. and McHugh, P. R. (1975). “Mini- mental state”: a practical method for grading the cognitive state of patients for the clinician. Journal of Psychiatric Research, 12, 189198.
Gormley, N., Lyons, D. and Howard, R. (2001). Behavioral management of aggression in dementia: a randomized controlled trial. Age and Ageing, 30, 141145.
Haberstroh, J., Neumeyer, K., Schmitz, B., Perels, F. and Pantel, J. (2006). Communication training for family caregivers of dementia patients. Zeitschrift fuer Gerontologie und Geriatrie, 39, 358364.
Haberstroh, J., Neumeyer, K., Schmitz, B. and Pantel, J. (2009). Development and evaluation of a training program for nursing home professionals to improve communication in dementia care. Zeitschrift fuer Gerontologie und Geriatrie, 42, 108116.
Hansen Niels, V., Jørgensen, T. and Ørtenblad, L. (2006). Massage and touch for dementia. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, Art. No. CD004989.
Hauer, K., Becker, C., Lindemann, U. and Beyer, N. (2006). Effectiveness of physical training on motor performance and fall prevention in cognitively impaired older persons: a systematic review. American Journal of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, 85, 847857.
Higgins, J. and Green, S. (2009). The Cochrane Handbook for Systematic Reviews of Interventions, Version 5.0.2 (updated September 2009). Chichester: John Wiley & Sons.
Holt, F. E., Birks, T. P., Thorgrimsen, L. M., Spector, A. E., Wiles, A. and Orrell, M. (2003). Aroma therapy for dementia. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, Art. No. CD003150.
Killick, J. and Allan, K. (2006). The Good Sunset Project: making contact with those close to death. Journal of Dementia Care, 14, 2224.
Killick, J. and Allan, K. (2008). Communication and the Care of People with Dementia, 3rd edn, Maidenhead: Open University Press.
Kitwood, T. (2008). Demenz. Der Person-Zentrierte Ansatz im Umgang mit Verwirrten Menschen. Bern: Huber Verlag.
Kruijver, I. P., Kerkstra, A., Francke, A. L., Bensing, J. M. and van de Wiel, H. B. (2000). Evaluation of communication training programs in nursing care: a review of the literature. Patient Education and Counseling, 39, 129145.
Kuske, B., Hanns, S., Luck, T., Angermeyer, M. C., Behrens, J. and Riedel-Heller, S. G. (2007). Nursing home staff training in dementia care: a systematic review of evaluated programs. International Psychogeriatrics, 19, 818841.
Kuske, B.et al. (2009). Training in dementia care: a cluster-randomized controlled trial of a training program for nursing home staff in Germany. International Psychogeriatrics, 21, 295308.
Magai, C., Cohen, C. I. and Gomberg, D. (2002). Impact of training dementia caregivers in sensitivity to nonverbal emotion signals. International Psychogeriatrics, 14, 2538.
McCallion, P., Toseland, R. W., Lacey, D. and Banks, S. (1999). Educating nursing assistants to communicate more effectively with nursing home residents with dementia. Gerontologist, 39, 546558.
Neal, M. and Barton Wright, P. (2003). Validation therapy for dementia. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, Art. No. CD001394.
NHS (2005). Everybody's Business: Integrated Mental Health Services for Older Adults – A Service Development Guide. Quarry Hill, UK: Care Service Improvement Partnership.
NHS (2007). Living Well with Dementia – A National Dementia Strategy. London: Department of Health.
NICE (2007). Dementia: A NICE-SCIE Guideline on Supporting People with Dementia and their Carers in Health and Social Care. London: Royal College of Psychiatrists.
Payne, S. and Froggatt, K. (2009). Improving palliative and end-of-life care for older people in Ireland: a new model and framework for institutional care. Journal of Palliative Care, 25, 218226.
Ripich, D. N., Ziol, E., Fritsch, T. and Durand, E. J. (1994). Training Alzheimer's disease caregivers for successful communication. Clinical Gerontologist, 21, 3756.
Rössler, A., Schwerdt, R. and Renteln-Kruse, W. (2005). Was die Sprache Alzheimer-Kranker mit der Celans verbindet. Über Kommunikation mit schwer betroffenen Demenzpatienten. Zeitschrift für Gerontologie und Geriatrie, 38, 354359.
Schmitt, B. and Frolich, L. (2007). Creative therapy options for patients with dementia: a systematic review. Fortschritte der Neurologie und Psychiatrie, 75, 699707.
Selwood, A., Johnston, K., Katona, C., Lyketsos, C. and Livingston, G. (2007). Systematic review of the effect of psychological interventions on family caregivers of people with dementia. Journal of Affective Disorders, 101, 7589.
Spector, A., Davies, S., Woods, B. and Orrell, M. (2000). Reality orientation for dementia: a systematic review of the evidence of effectiveness from randomized controlled trials. Clinical Gerontologist, 40, 206212.
Teri, L., McCurry, S. M., Logsdon, R. and Gibbons, L. E. (2005). Training community consultants to help family members improve dementia care: a randomized controlled trial. Gerontologist, 45, 802811.
Vasse, E., Vernooij-Dassen, M., Spijker, A., Rikkert, M. G. and Koopmans, R. (2009). A systematic review of communication strategies for people with dementia in residential and nursing homes. International Psychogeriatrics, 22, 189200.
Vink, A. C., Birks, J., Bruinsma, M. S. and Scholten, R. J. (2003). Music therapy for people with dementia. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, Art. No. CD003477.
Williams, K. N. (2006). Improving outcomes of nursing home interactions. Research in Nursing and Health, 29, 121133.
Woods, B., Spector, A. E., Jones, C. A., Orrell, M. and Davies, S. P. (2005). Reminiscence therapy for dementia. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, Art. No. CD001120.
Zarit, S. and Femia, E. (2008). Behavioral and psychosocial interventions for family caregivers. American Journal of Nursing, 108, 4753.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

International Psychogeriatrics
  • ISSN: 1041-6102
  • EISSN: 1741-203X
  • URL: /core/journals/international-psychogeriatrics
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Keywords

Metrics

Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed