Dementia care in rural and remote settings: A systematic review of formal or paid care
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ObjectivesThe purpose of this review is to critically evaluate the available evidence from the published scientific literature on dementia care and service provision in rural and remote settings from the perspective of formal/paid caregiving, in order to assess the current state of knowledge, identify policy and practice implications, and make recommendations for future research.
MethodsA systematic review of the literature indexed in ISI Web of Knowledge, PsychInfo, Medline, Healthstar, CINAHL, EMBASE, and Sociological Abstracts was conducted. Data were extracted from papers meeting inclusion criteria: peer-reviewed papers that focused on dementia or Alzheimer's disease (AD), examined care or service provision in relation to persons with AD or dementia, and relevant to rural or remote care or services.
ResultsThe search identified 872 articles for review, reduced to 72 after removing duplicates and articles not meeting criteria. Of the 72 remaining, 46 are included in this current review focusing on formal or paid care. A future review will focus on the 26 studies on informal/unpaid care. Six themes that correspond to the current state of knowledge in rural dementia care in the 46 included studies were: diagnostic processes, service provision, service models and programs, staff education and support needs, use of technology, and long-term care.
ConclusionsDespite the growing body of evidence over the 20 years covered by this review, much of the research is descriptive and/or based on small sample sizes, and distributed across the care continuum. Hence the body of evidence on which to base policy and program decisions remains limited. More research is needed that would support the development of comprehensive rural dementia care models.
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