Our clinical nursing articles aim to inform and educate nurse practitioners and students. This is achieved through the publication of peer-reviewed, evidence-based, relevant and topical articles.
Why you should read this article: • To understand the challenges of providing inpatient care for people with dementia • To familiarise yourself with the differences between organic inpatient wards and mixed inpatient wards • To learn about the optimal inpatient environment for people with dementia Dementia presents a major public health challenge to healthcare providers globally. When older people with dementia need inpatient mental healthcare, they can be cared for in one of two different types of older adult ward. These patients can either be admitted to an organic inpatient ward for people with dementia or the subtypes of dementia, or they can be admitted to a mixed inpatient ward for older people who have either functional or organic conditions. Using a quality assurance pilot study, the authors aimed to investigate whether the quality of care for patients with dementia differed between mixed and organic inpatient wards in units exclusively serving older people. The quality of care on both types of ward was compared by analysing observed interactions between patients and staff, patient well-being and patient environment and mealtimes. The quality of care was measured with a specially developed instrument and against evidence-based standards of care. The ratings of both types of ward showed high levels of quality interactions between patients and staff. There were minimal differences in the quality of patient and staff interactions, patient well-being, and patient environment and mealtimes between the two types of ward. Further work on outcomes and carer experiences needs to be undertaken to establish the optimal care environment for people with dementia.
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