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Research recap: Evaluating Dementia Care Mapping™ training

Old people holding hands

What we did and why we did it

Dementia Care Mapping™ (DCM) enables staff to observe and critically assess the quality of care they provide within their teams from a unique perspective, that of the person living with dementia. DCM is a Quality Improvement tool underpinned by the concept of person centred care, a best practice benchmark referenced throughout the NICE clinical guideline for dementia. Since 2002, NSFT has supported CPD for a number of staff in using DCM with varying levels of expertise (i.e., Basic ‘mapper’, Advanced or Approved Trainer). However, currently, it was unclear whether NSFT staff benefit from DCM training in terms of their sense of confidence and competence in dementia care, and whether the knowledge and skills gained from the training leads to DCM being used in their daily practice. This mixed methods service evaluation aimed to explore these factors and see whether staff felt confident and competent in completing their first ‘map’.

Take away points

1. As a recommendation for DCM practice, a theme identified from attendees’ reflective diaries was challenges in finding the best time and place to provide mapping feedback to their colleagues during busy shifts. This is further evidence that managerial and organisational support is crucial to DCM’s success.

2. Overall, evidence from this evaluation suggests the 4-day DCM training was well received by care staff and was beneficial to the majority of staff’s personal development (sense of confidence and competence) in dementia care practice.

What we found

Twelve staff participants completed the course, and selfreported confidence and competence in dementia care practice were measured at baseline (before the training), post-intervention (immediately after) and follow-up (6 months later). Overall, results indicated that the DCM training was somewhat effective in promoting the attendees’ personal development in dementia care practice. Specifically, for the majority of attendees, their sense of confidence and competence in person-centred dementia care increased following the training and these gains were maintained six months after the training. Three attendees reported no reliable change in their personal development and competence in dementia care practice at baseline to post intervention, and 1 attendee showed a reliable decrease in their sense of confidence following the training (reasons for this remains unclear). At 6 months, 4 attendees provided follow-up data and all successfully completed DCM team practice development ‘cycles’ within six months of the training.

What’s Next?

We thank the Hammerton Court staff who kindly participated in this evaluation project. We hope our findings will help to plan effective training and learning opportunities for staff in person centred dementia care. Future evaluations could consider including qualitative interviews with attendees who report a reliable decrease or no reliable change in their personal development so that factors contributing to this could be understood. Further work could also explore the impact using DCM on outcomes for people with dementia staying on our wards, such as the frequency of adverse events.

Download recap as [pdf] 487KB

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