Risk communication in dementia care: Professional perspectives on consequences, likelihood, words and numbers.

This paper reports on a qualitative study exploring the perspectives of health and social care professionals on communicating risk in dementia care. Five focus groups were held in the five health and social care Trusts in Northern Ireland. A clear understanding of the evolving nature of risk across a person's journey with dementia was evidenced as was the significance of a person's history in providing context for their current decision making. Participants framed risk within the risk culture of their own organisation, with subjective beliefs of what was an acceptable risk being key to their conceptualisation. Risk was viewed as having positive or negative consequences, with evidence of a positive risk taking culture. There was less emphasis on the likelihood of risk and where this was expressed it was in verbal rather than numericl terms, despite numberical data being available. The authors highlight the need for more research into frequency of risk occurence in dementia care to inform better estimates of likelihood, and for further analysis of how quantified risk data is understood and communicated emphasising the need for statistical literacy among health and social care professionals.
Title: 
Risk communication in dementia care: Professional perspectives on consequences, likelihood, words and numbers.
Date: 
2017
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References: 
Stevenson, M. and Taylor, B.J., 2017. Risk communication in dementia care: Professional perspectives on consequences, likelihood, words and numbers. British Journal of Social Work, 47(7), pp.1940-1958