Learning about the Patient: an innovative interprofessional dementia and delirium education programme
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Background : Patients with confusion (delirium and dementia) in the general hospital environmentare more likely to have negative health outcomes compared with other patients. Poor team and individual practice is partly responsible for this, and a training gap has been described. We report an innovative interprofessional teaching intervention that is founded on robust medical education research fi ndings, and has the potential to improve staff practice. Innovation : A 2–day programme is described that seeks to address previously identifi ed learning needs in relation to managing the confused older patient. The programme is underpinned theoretically by learning from patients and carers, action learning and matching of teaching methods to aims (e.g. by the use of mindmaps to differentiate between dementia, delirium and depression). The programme has been implemented in Northumbria, England. Results : In total 48 health care professionals, representing 12 different professional groups, attended three courses. Findings suggest that the programme signifi cantly increases confi dence across six core domains towards managing the confused older patient (p < 0.001, Mann–Whitney U –test). Furthermore, the course addresses negative attitudes and empowers staff to introduce relevant practice change. Implications : These results are pertinent given the fi ndings of the Francis Inquiry, which identifi ed signifi cant care defi cits within a culture of failing to practice in a patient- centred manner. As the core material focuses on learning about the patient, rather than the disease process, this programme may help address these gaps. Arguably our fi ndings are of relevance to other innovators seeking to teach effectively in the hospital setting and improve patient care.
The Clinical Teacher
Medicine, Nursing and Health Curriculum and Pedagogy