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Developing an applied model for making decisions towards the end of life about care for someone with dementia

Davies, N; De Souza, T; Rait, G; Meehan, J; Sampson, E; (2021) Developing an applied model for making decisions towards the end of life about care for someone with dementia. PLoS One 10.1371/journal.pone.0252464. Green open access

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Abstract

BACKGROUND: Many people with dementia reach the end-of-life without an advance care plan. Many are not ready to have conversations about end-of-life, and decision-making is left to their families and professionals when they no longer have capacity. Carers may benefit from further support with decision-making. To develop this support, it is important to understand the decision-making process. AIM: Explore with family carers and people living with dementia the decision-making process and factors that influence decision-making in dementia end of life care, to produce a model of decision-making in the context of dementia end-of-life care. METHODS: Semi-structured interviews with 21 family carers and 11 people with dementia in England (2018–2019) from memory clinics, general practice and carer organisations. Interviews were analysed using thematic analysis and findings were mapped onto the Interprofessional Shared Decision Making model, refined to produce a modified model of decision-making in dementia. RESULTS: Participants described five key decisions towards the end-of-life as examples of decision making. We used these experiences to produce a modified model of decision-making in dementia end-of-life-care. The model considers the contextual factors that influence the decision-making process, including: personal preferences; advance care planning and Lasting Power of Attorney; capacity and health and wellbeing of the person with dementia; support from others and clarity of roles. The decision-making process consists of seven inter-linked stages: 1) identifying the decision maker or team; 2) sharing and exchanging information; 3) clarifying values and preferences; 4) managing and considering emotions; 5) considering the feasibility of options; 6) balancing preferred choice and the actual choice; and 7) implementation and reflecting on outcomes. CONCLUSIONS: The modified model breaks down the decision-making process and attempts to simplify the process while capturing the subtle nuances of decision making. It provides a framework for conversations and supporting decisions by carers.

Type: Article
Title: Developing an applied model for making decisions towards the end of life about care for someone with dementia
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0252464
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0252464
Language: English
Additional information: © 2021 Davies et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Division of Psychiatry
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Epidemiology and Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Epidemiology and Health > Primary Care and Population Health
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10128008
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