Objectives: In the Netherlands, many community-dwelling people with dementia and behavioral disturbances and their family caregivers receive mental health care from a community psychiatric nurse (CPN). To promote continuity of care for these persons after moving to a nursing home, a transfer intervention was developed. The aim of this explorative study was to evaluate this intervention and its implementation.
Method: A qualitative explorative study design was used. CPNs visited professional nursing home carers, people with dementia and family caregivers six weeks after moving, advised on how to manage behavioral problems of their former clients and provided support to family caregivers. Twenty-two interviews were conducted with participants exposed to the intervention (5 CPNs, 5 family and 12 nursing home carers) and with 11 stakeholders (i.e., nursing home and mental health care managers, professional caregivers) to identify facilitators and barriers to the implementation. Data were collected in 2012 and 2013.
Results: The follow-up visit at six weeks met the need for background information of new admitted patients and helped family caregivers close off the period prior to the move. It did not meet the original purpose of providing nursing home staff with advice about problem behaviors on time: six weeks after the move was experienced as too late.
Conclusion: The transfer intervention increased the awareness of nursing home staff about personal and behavioral characteristics of residents with dementia and supported caregivers in coping with the new situation. The timing of the intervention could be improved by scheduling it immediately after the move.
Keywords: behavioral problems; dementia; intervention; nursing home; transfer.