A feasibility study of the impact of a communication-skills course, ‘Empowered Conversations’, for care partners of people living with dementia

Morris, LE ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-3337-8144, Innes, A ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-5591-4083, Smith, E, Williamson, T and McEvoy, P 2021, 'A feasibility study of the impact of a communication-skills course, ‘Empowered Conversations’, for care partners of people living with dementia' , Dementia , pp. 1-13.

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Abstract

Objectives To examine the feasibility, acceptability and impact of an experiential course for family care partners of people living with dementia, Empowered Conversations (EC). This study aimed to assess the impact of participation in an EC course on care partner stress levels, communication and mentalization (a form of relational-based empathy).
Method This study uses an uncontrolled pre–post-follow-up design. Follow-up was at 4-months after the initial EC session where baseline data were collected. One hundred and fifty-nine care partners were recruited. EC is a training course that has been designed to improve care partner communication, well-being and relationships. It is based on an integrative framework that targets the specific psychological, relationship and communication needs of carers. This framework informs targeted strategies and interactive exercises that facilitate carers to consider the goals and emotions of those they are caring for, alongside their own goals and emotions, and to use this to maximize good communication.
Results Stress was significantly reduced across the three time points. Communication significantly improved across time. There were no significant changes in reflective functioning (mentalization).
Discussion This study provides preliminary evidence that a communication-skills training course for care partners of people living with dementia is an acceptable and feasible intervention and has an impact both post-intervention and at follow-up. These findings require validation in a rigorous, randomized study.

Item Type: Article
Schools: Schools > School of Health and Society > Centre for Applied Research in Health, Welfare and Policy
Journal or Publication Title: Dementia
Publisher: SAGE Publications
ISSN: 1471-3012
Related URLs:
Funders: National Lottery
Depositing User: A Innes
Date Deposited: 26 May 2021 08:52
Last Modified: 28 Aug 2021 10:43
URI: http://usir.salford.ac.uk/id/eprint/60404

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