Communication skills training for family caregivers of people living with dementia : the experiences of peer facilitators and course attendees

Innes, A ORCID:, Morris, LE ORCID:, Wyatt, M ORCID: and McEvoy, P 2022, 'Communication skills training for family caregivers of people living with dementia : the experiences of peer facilitators and course attendees' , Educational Gerontology, 48 (3) , pp. 103-113.

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Family caregivers of people with dementia can find the impairments in their relative’s ability to communicate an enormous challenge. Peer facilitated educational interventions are a potentially efficient and effective way to address these complex communication issues. This paper examines the processes required to support the development of peer educators and the impact this has had on facilitators and course attendees. Semi-structured interviews with six participants who facilitated Empowered Conversations (EC) a communication skills educational program for caregivers of people with dementia and 28 participants who attended the program. A qualitative thematic analysis approach identified emergent themes within the data. Three broad findings are reported: first the support that is needed for peer facilitators; second, the impact of the course reported by facilitators and course attendees; and third, suggestions for improvements. The content of the EC program is strong and the reflective cycle encouraged via support mechanisms prior to, during and following the delivery of sessions is effective for supporting facilitators. When upscaling the program it was important to enhance the support structures for new peer facilitators. Introducing a support session focusing on examples of logistical issues experienced and how these could be addressed would be a useful addition to the support mechanisms already devised. Attendees reported positively on participation in the course, particularly valuing the input from facilitators with experience of caregiving. Suggested improvements related to better information about the course and a settling in period, with some specific individual suggestions for content relating to their personal experiences.

Item Type: Article
Schools: Schools > School of Health and Society
Journal or Publication Title: Educational Gerontology
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
ISSN: 0360-1277
Related URLs:
Funders: National Lottery
Depositing User: USIR Admin
Date Deposited: 23 Mar 2022 15:11
Last Modified: 17 Aug 2022 10:01

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