Perception and communication of risk in decision making by persons with dementia

This paper by Stevenson, Savage and Taylor (2017) reports on one phase of a multi-stage study focusing on risk communication in dementia care. The phase reported on here explores the perspectives of people with dementia in relation to ways in which they conceptualise risks, their experiences of risks and how these risks were communicated between these individuals and their families and healthcare providers. Interviews were conducted with 17 community dwelling people with mild to moderate dementia living in NI. A grounded theory approach was used to guide the analysis of interview data. Findings are reported under three thematic headings: defining risk; constructing risk; and risk communication in decision-making processes. In relation to the latter, active and passive models of decision-making were evident and illustrated in communications around driving, medication, social care and general every-day decisions. The paper concludes that taking account of what risk means to the individual and the language used and how it interconnects with emotions is important in communications about risk-taking with a person with dementia. Positive risk-taking is promoted and risk averse approaches avoided when the person with dementia is supported to consider and communicate all aspects of risk.
Title: 
Perception and communication of risk in decision making by persons with dementia
Date: 
2017
Theme or key words: 
References: 
Stevenson, M., Savage, B. and Taylor, T.J. (2017) ‘Perception and communication of risk in decision making by persons with dementia’, Dementia: An International Journal of Social Research and Practice in Dementia