AbstractBackground: With population ageing, an emergent issue in workforce planning is
how to ensure that future healthcare professionals are both competent and willing
to work with older adults with complex needs. This includes dementia care; which is
widely recognised as a policy and practice priority. Yet research suggests that
working with older people is unattractive to undergraduate healthcare students.
However, how students view a career working with people with dementia is not well
understood, in either related specialties (such as geriatrics or old age mental health)
or as a general clinical interest. This thesis explores the factors associated with
preferences for working with people with dementia.
Method: A sequential mixed-method design was used to develop a conceptual
framework for understanding career preferences for working with people with
dementia in student and newly qualified nurses and doctors. The framework was
derived through the integration of the results from three sub-studies. First, a
systematic review was conducted, including 62 papers on the factors associated
with preferences of nursing and medical students for working with people with
dementia and older adults. Second, a quantitative analysis (n=840) of longitudinal
survey data on career preferences was performed. Third, qualitative interviews
(n=27) were conducted with newly qualified healthcare professionals and analysed
using grounded theory.
Results: A conceptual framework for understanding preferences is presented and
indicates that the key factors related to dementia preferences include: student
characteristics (e.g. gender, attitudes and knowledge) and whether students
perceive their attributes are aligned with dementia care; the impact of experiences
including dementia educational programmes; the importance of making a difference
to patients’ lives; the perception of working with people with dementia as a ‘different
type of care’; perceptions of people with dementia including care challenges; and
Conclusion: This thesis is the first study of career preferences for working with
people with dementia in healthcare students in the UK. It adds to the literature by
presenting a conceptualisation of these preferences that provides both a
framework for future research of career preferences and recommendations for
undergraduate education in dementia.
|Date of Award||2020|
|Supervisor||Stephanie Daley (Supervisor) & Juliet Wright (Supervisor)|