The effects of a patient-centred rehabilitation model of care targeting older adults with cognitive impairment on healthcare practitioners


Until recently, older adults with a cognitive impairment (CI) who experienced a hip fracture were filtered from being admitted into active rehabilitation units. The increased complexity of care required for older adults with a CI may negatively influence the attitudes and job satisfaction of healthcare practitioners working with this population. The current study is a part of a larger intervention study allowing patients with CI following a hip fracture access to rehabilitation care and implementing a patient-centred model to facilitate caring for this new population. This new model required a substantial change in the skillset and knowledge of healthcare practitioners. The focus of this study was to explore the impact on the healthcare practitioners of adopting this new model for providing care to older adults with a CI following a hip fracture. The attitudes, dementia knowledge, job satisfaction, and work stress of healthcare practitioners were the focus of evaluation. Key study findings showed that stress due to relationships with coworkers, workloads and scheduling, and the physical design and conditions at work were moderated post-intervention. Staff responses also improved for job satisfaction, biomedical knowledge of dementia, and degree of hopefulness about dementia. Although we cannot state conclusively that the our model was solely responsible for all the staff improvements observed post-intervention, our findings provide further support to the argument that patients with CI should be allowed access to rehabilitation care. Rehabilitation units need to provide education that utilizes a person-centred approach accepting of patients with CI, and focuses on areas that can bolster staff’s positive, dementia-sensitive attitudes. Ultimately, the aim is to create a culture that provides the highest standard of care for all patients, reduces work-related stress, increases job satisfaction, and leads to the highest quality of life for patients during and after rehabilitation.

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Wyk, P. , Stewart, S. and McGilton, K. (2014) The effects of a patient-centred rehabilitation model of care targeting older adults with cognitive impairment on healthcare practitioners. Advances in Aging Research, 3, 48-58. doi: 10.4236/aar.2014.31009.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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