In a cross-sectional survey, we assessed the attitudes of older patients and their carers towards receiving copies of letters about them and the effects upon outcomes of sharing letters. We also studied the opinions of consultants on letter-sharing.
Few old age psychiatrists shared letters with patients or carers, and many had concerns about this practice. In contrast, letters were considered ‘very welcome’ by 87% of patients and carers who received them, and 81% of those who did not would be ‘very pleased’ to receive them. Patients and carers who had received letters had significantly better knowledge of their care plan, whom to contact and ways of making contact with services.
Despite concerns expressed by psychiatrists, our findings support the sharing of letters with patients and carers of patients with dementia in old age psychiatry services.
Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.