Hospital discharge processes involving older adults living with dementia: An integrated literature review

Gillian Stockwell Smith, Wendy Moyle, Andrea Marshal, Alison Argo, Laura Brown, Shelley Howe, Keith Layton, Ornissa Naidoo, Yuwati Santosa, Elizabeth Soleil Moudiki-Joh, laurie Grealish

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


Aims and objectives: To identify barriers and facilitators to engagement of people with dementia and family carers in planning for discharge from hospital. Background: Hospital discharge can be particularly challenging for older people with dementia. To assist in the development of bespoke discharge processes that address the unique needs of older people with dementia, an integrated review of the literature was undertaken. Design and methods: A four-stage integrative review framework guided the review. Three search strategies were employed: a computerised database search, a hand search of reference lists and forward citation searching. Paired members of the research team reviewed eligible full-text papers. The methodological quality of each paper was assessed using the Mixed-Methods Assessment Tool, followed by data extraction and completion of summary tables. Within and across study analysis and synthesis of study findings was undertaken using thematic synthesis. Results: Fifteen papers were included in the review. Most identified barriers to collaborative discharge processes related to distributed responsibility for discharge, risk averse approaches to discharge, limited family carer confidence, and limited validation of assumptions about family competency to manage at home. Facilitators included supported clinician and family carer engagement, and maintaining independence for activities of daily living. Relevance to clinical practice: Reflective analysis of discharge decisions, focused on risk and possible risk aversion, can assist teams to evaluate the quality of their discharge decisions. The use of formal communication strategies such as a patient/family-held journal of the hospital experience and a structured family meeting early in the hospital admission can enhance family engagement in discharge planning. Prevention of functional and cognitive decline is emerging as critical to improving hospital discharge outcomes. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e712-e725
JournalJournal of Clinical Nursing
Issue number5-6
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2018
Externally publishedYes


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