Desirable outcomes and characteristics of community care: a qualitative study (Forum 2011)




White, Ms Fiona
Low, A/Prof Lee-Fay
Jeon, Professor Yun-Hee
Gresham, Ms Meredith
Brodaty, Prof Henry


Desirable outcomes and characteristics of community care: a qualitative study White F1, Low L-F1, Jeon Y-H2, Gresham M3, Brodaty H1 1University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW; Prince of Wales Hospital, Sydney, NSW 2University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW 3Hammondcare, Sydney, NSW Background: There is a gap in knowledge about what constitutes best practice in community aged care. Our aim was to identify what persons with dementia and their carers (consumers), service providers and policy representatives considered desirable characteristics and outcomes of community care Methods: Consumers (n = 32), service providers (n = 32) and policy representatives (n = 4) were interviewed or provided written responses. The interviews were recorded digitally, transcribed and content analysed. Results: Outcomes suggested as important by consumers and service providers were that clients continue living at home, be given help with activities of daily living and opportunities to socialize, are safe and secure, and maintain their quality of life, and that carers be given emotional support and helped to reduce their stress. Additionally clients/carers discussed the need for day centre or other respite and said that it was important that carers be able to continue their paid employment. Clients/ carers and service providers said that important characteristics of community care were ongoing assessment that involved family, that the service was flexible, provided adequate hours of care and continuity of staff who were trained and had appropriate personalities. Service providers also thought that assessments should be multidisciplinary and care should be person-centred. Clients/ carers also emphasized the importance of a reliable service. Conclusion: These results are congruent with widely held best practice, however only some of the desirable outcomes and characteristics were reflected in the data from policy staff.