EVIDENCE SYNTHESIS: Appropriateness of using a symbol to identify dementia and/or delirium
Hines, Sonia, Abbey, Jennifer, Wilson, Jacinda, & Sacre, Sandy (2010) EVIDENCE SYNTHESIS: Appropriateness of using a symbol to identify dementia and/or delirium. International Journal of Evidence-Based Healthcare, 8(3), pp. 126-128.
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Background Alzheimer’s Australia contracted the Dementia Collaborative Research Centre – Consumers, Carers and Social Research to conduct a systematic review to
explore the appropriateness of a symbol for dementia.
The concept of a symbol for people with dementia was an outcome of the Alzheimer’s Australia National Consumer Summit on Dementia held in Canberra in October 2005. People living with dementia and their carers identified that a national symbol would be helpful in order to encourage appropriate treatment of people with dementia. Funding was provided as part of the Australian Government’s Dementia Initiative to Alzheimer’s Australia to work in collaboration with the Queensland University of
Technology and Catholic Health Australia to explore, through research, the viability and potential impact of such a symbol in a range of care settings.
Objectives The main objective of this systematic review was to evaluate any published and unpublished evidence regarding the appropriateness of developing a symbol for dementia and/or delirium, which could be used in a variety of settings to indicate that a person has dementia and/or delirium.
Search strategy A literature search was performed using the following databases:
Ageline, APAIS Health, CINAHL, Dissertations and Theses Abstracts, Embase, MEDLINE, PsycEXTRAS, PsycINFO, PsycArticles, Current Contents, LegalTrac,Health and Society, Sociological Abstracts, Family and Society, CINCH, and Hein
Online databases. The reference lists of articles retrieved were hand searched, as well as a range of literature from health, legal, ethical and emergency services. Grey
literature was searched for using a number of Internet sites, and personal email communication with authors of relevant studies and known researchers in the field
Selection criteria Papers were retrieved if they provided information about attitudes or perceptions towards the appropriateness of symbols, identifiers or alerts used to
inform others that someone has dementia, delirium and/or another medical condition or functional impairment. Any references to symbols, identifiers or alerts being used
to indicate a particular type of service were also considered.
Data collection and analysis Retrieved papers were critically appraised by two reviewers, using tools developed by the Joanna Briggs Institute. Due to the type and clinical heterogeneity of papers retrieved, meta-analysis was not possible, and a narrative summary was developed instead.
Findings The systematic review revealed that several different symbols and identifiers are in current use, in various parts of the world, to represent a range of
medical and functional conditions, including dementia, delirium, falls risk, diabetes, and vision impairment. According to the papers reviewed, the most commonly used
colour of symbols representing dementia was blue. There was general consensus amongst the literature that a symbol for dementia is appropriate in the acute care setting. It was also clear from the research that an abstract symbol, as opposed to one which explicitly attempts to depict dementia, was most acceptable to staff, people with dementia and their carers. There appeared to be some support for the use of a body worn symbol (on a bracelet) for people with dementia who may go missing from their home, aged care facility or day centre. Future research should concentrate on the appropriateness of a dementia symbol for commonly used services such as public transport and banking, and the acceptability of large scale
marketing campaigns if a dementia symbol were to be introduced at a state or national level. In addition, further research is recommended into the acceptability of
such a symbol across a wide range of different cultural and linguistic groups.
Citation countsare sourced monthly fromand citation databases.
These databases contain citations from different subsets of available publications and different time periods and thus the citation count from each is usually different. Some works are not in either database and no count is displayed. Scopus includes citations from articles published in 1996 onwards, and Web of Science generally from 1980 onwards.
Citations counts from theindexing service can be viewed at the linked Google Scholar™ search.
|Item Type:||Journal Article|
|Keywords:||dementia, nursing, patient advocacy, systematic review|
|Subjects:||Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > CLINICAL SCIENCES (110300)|
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > NURSING (111000)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > PUBLIC HEALTH AND HEALTH SERVICES (111700)
|Divisions:||Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health|
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
|Copyright Owner:||Copyright 2009 Joanna Briggs Institute, Royal Adelaide Hospital|
|Deposited On:||01 Jun 2009 11:32|
|Last Modified:||01 Mar 2012 00:19|
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