Dementia considered? Safety-relevant communication between health care settings: a systematic review
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- Kuske, S., Graf, R., Hartig, M. et al. J Public Health (2014) 22: 383. doi:10.1007/s10389-014-0630-y
To identify literature on safety-relevant handover communication, as operationalized by an adapted Lasswell communication model, and to reveal the extent to which this literature is relevant to patients with dementia (PwD). Furthermore, the study identifies interventions that could be applicable in dementia handover communication.
A systematic review was performed. MEDLINE, EMBASE, Cochrane Library, CINAHL, PsycInfo and GeroLit were searched for publications indexed up to and including April 2011. Forward citation tracking was conducted in January 2012 using the SCOPUS database. The inclusion criteria followed an adapted Lasswell communication model. Evidence was excluded that did not meet more than three-quarters of the critical appraisal’s 27 quality criteria. A content analysis and a critical appraisal were performed to eliminate ineligible publications.
Out of 3,918 positive search results, a total of 5 publications were ultimately eligible for inclusion. Only one of them included PwD in the intervention group. However, since dementia was not the focus of the study, the paper contained no discussion of the results specifically for PwD.
There are several options for improving safety-relevant handover communication between settings, but strong evidence is still lacking, particularly for PwD. Research involving PwD should include topics such as the role of advanced nurse practitioners (APN), the information needs of everyone involved in the handover and appropriate involvement of informal caregivers. Responsibilities in care should be defined and specific communication processes implemented. Further investigation and application of Naylor et al.’s (2007) transitional care model could be particularly helpful in dementia research.