The facilitators of communication with people with dementia in a care setting: an interview study with healthcare workers

Age Ageing. 2016 Jan;45(1):164-70. doi: 10.1093/ageing/afv161.


Objectives: to describe the views of healthcare workers on the facilitators of communication with people with dementia in a care setting.

Design: thematic analysis of semi-structured interviews.

Setting: all participants were interviewed in their place of work.

Participants: sixteen healthcare workers whose daily work involves interacting with people with dementia.

Results: four overarching categories of themes were identified from the interviews that impact on communication: the attributes of a care worker, communication strategies used, organisational factors and the physical characteristics of the care environment.

Conclusion: many strategies used by healthcare workers to facilitate communication have not yet been studied in the research literature. Participants' views on training should be incorporated into future dementia training programmes.

Keywords: care homes; care workers; communication; dementia; older people; thematic analysis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Attitude of Health Personnel*
  • Clinical Competence
  • Communication*
  • Dementia / diagnosis
  • Dementia / psychology
  • Dementia / therapy*
  • Geriatrics*
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Health Personnel / psychology*
  • Health Services Research
  • Homes for the Aged*
  • Humans
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Nursing Homes*
  • Patient Care Team
  • Professional-Patient Relations*
  • Workforce
  • Workplace