UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Co-creating person-centred care in acute care Hung, Lillian Mei


Patients with dementia in acute care often experience poor outcomes, as nurses and other staff in hospitals are not equipped to provide good dementia care. Person-centred care has been recognized as the best practice for dementia care, but its application in hospital environments remains unclear. This action research involved patients with dementia, a team of staff members, and public advisors to co-create changes in a medical unit. The objectives of the project were to: (a) develop person-centred care in a medical unit, (b) explore ways to support the involvement of patients with dementia in research, (c) examine the processes of staff engagement for bringing together staff from different disciplines to co-inquire, and (d) evaluate the impact of research on the process of change and identify the lessons learnt to inform practice, education, policy, and research. Various methods were used such as: interviewing patients with dementia, focus group sessions with a team of inter-disciplinary staff, and participant observations. In this thesis, I argue for a new positive and collaborative approach that views change as a continuous process. In the past, the problem-focused model that sees change as fixing people has largely failed with regards to advancing practice developments in dementia care. An important outcome of this research is the heuristic guide ‘Team Engagement Action Making’ (TEAM), which can be used to support teams to engage staff in co-creating positive change. The results of this study indicate that appreciative inquiry is a useful strategy for engaging people on a team to learn together and to co-create a better future of care. The findings also suggest that more attention should be paid to the dynamic inter-connection of research and practice, rather than just one or the other. The results demonstrate that action research can affect the process of change by generating positive energy, attitude change, and momentum for action activities in the unit and beyond. Future research should further explore strategies that would maximize the potential of bringing patients, families, researchers, and practitioners to work together for positive change.

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