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Journal article

Mentalization in dementia care: an autoethnographic account of a project worker’s experiences

Authors:
LUXMOORE Bethany, McEVOY Phil
Journal article citation:
Working with Older People, 21(3), 2017, pp.147-156.
Publisher:
Emerald

Purpose: Mentalization is a psychodynamic concept that can help us to understand our emotional responses to others. The purpose of this paper to illustrate how the concept of mentalization may be applied in dementia care. Design/methodology/approach: An autoethnographic account of the author’s experiences (first author), working as a project manager in which the author used the concept of mentalization to pay close attention to how the author’s emotional responses to people with dementia influenced thier communicative interactions. Findings: This paper outlines how the author processed the author’s own internal experiences in both mentalizing and non-mentalizing modes, as the author wrestled with feelings of conscious incompetence. In the non-mentalizing mode, the author was pre-occupied with the author’s own anxieties. The author struggled to relate to or make sense of the experiences of the individuals with advanced dementia that the author engaged with. Moving towards a mentalizing stance helped the author to attune to the embodied experiences of the people with dementia and recognise the reciprocal nature of our communicative interactions. Originality/value: This paper illustrates the role that mentalization may play in developing natural and authentic strategies to support communicative engagement in dementia care. These strategies may be of potential value to family carers. Family carers who can maintain a mentalizing stance may be more able to respond in empathic, person- centred ways to people who are living with dementia. On the other hand, non-mentalizing responses may be a root cause of mis-understanding and emotional disengagement. (Publisher abstract)

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Exploring the attitudes and behaviours of older people living with cancer

Author:
IPSOS MORI
Publisher:
Ipsos MORI
Publication year:
2015
Pagination:
86
Place of publication:
London

This study identifies a range of attitudes and perceptions which shape the way that older people access cancer services, influencing when and how they seek help, as well as the outcomes they experience. The findings are based on two online panel surveys of 1,004 adults aged 55 and over living with cancer and 500 adults of the same age range who have never had a cancer diagnosis. In addition, fieldwork was undertaken and 26 in-depth interviews with people aged 55 and over living with cancer and two focus groups with older people who have never had cancer carried out. A number of key themes emerge from the research, including: there are differences in the views of older people with cancer and those who have not been diagnosed with cancer, with those with direct experience of the condition having more positive perceptions about it; some of the preconceptions that people may hold about older people’s attitudes have been challenged, for example, older people are no more likely to choose not to have treatment than younger people, and no more likely to be concerned about the consequences of having treatment; a series of misconceptions about the risk of cancer and eligibility for screening may impact upon early diagnosis efforts and should be addressed; older people are more likely than younger people to place trust in their health professionals but at the same time believe that discrimination against older people does exist (albeit not necessarily in their personal experience); nonetheless, older people say they are willing to seek help, but are not necessarily aware of the services that exist to support them. Independence matters to older people. (Edited publisher abstract)

Journal article

Health beliefs of community dwelling older adults in the United Arab Emirates: a qualitative study

Author:
CAMPBELL Carol
Journal article citation:
Ageing International, 40(1), 2015, pp.13-28.
Publisher:
Springer
Place of publication:
New York

There is a paucity of information about the health beliefs that older adults in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) hold. This is a serious omission as understanding people’s ideas about health maintenance and disease prevention informs public health policy and practice. Using a qualitative methodology, twenty-three community dwelling adults aged between sixty and eighty years were interviewed. The data were analysed to uncover the meanings of health and health beliefs ascribed by the participants within their narratives. Participant narratives revealed representations of health that were in close alignment with previous research. ‘Health as value’ also emerged as a distinct health belief. Analysis of the interview data identified three superordinate themes labelled ‘Health is what you eat’; ‘Health was better in the past’; and ‘Health is from God’ as factors that participants attributed to their health. The implications for the health care system in the UAE are discussed. As the first study of its kind within the UAE, this study provides a solid base from which future studies exploring health beliefs and social representations of health can build upon. (Edited publisher abstract)

Journal article

Perceptions of cause and control in people with Alzheimer’s Disease

Authors:
MATCHWICK Claire, et al
Journal article citation:
Gerontologist, 54(2), 2014, pp.268-276.
Publisher:
Gerontological Society of America

Purpose of the Study: To explore cause and control illness representations in older adults with Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Design and Methods: Six older adults living in the North West of England completed semi-structured interviews that were subject to an interpretative phenomenological analysis. Results: Three main themes emerged indicating that participants were trying to make sense of their AD by comparing it with their previous experience of physical health illnesses. All participants acknowledged their diagnosis of AD but engaged with it in a graded way because of a lack of tangible diagnostic evidence. Participants developed pragmatic emotional responses to their situation. Implications: One of the main implications of the results is that caution needs to be exercised within clinical practice so that the pragmatic responses of individuals with AD are not pathologised. (Edited publisher abstract)

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Investigating the triggers into claiming pension credit

Authors:
BHATTACHARY Darren, SLADE Zoe
Publisher:
Great Britain. Department for Work and Pensions
Publication year:
2012
Pagination:
63p.
Place of publication:
London

This research investigated the events that act as a trigger to thinking about, making enquiries about or claiming Pension Credit for existing pensioners. The research involved 55 qualitative depth interviews with pensioners in ten areas of the United Kingdom (UK). Interviews lasted for approximately 30 minutes and were audio recorded, transcribed and analysed. Pensioners’ awareness of and their perceived need for Pension Credit had an impact upon the customer journey. Four distinct segments emerged based upon these two factors. There were those not comfortable discussing financial matters, other than with close family. They had low awareness and low perceived need of Pension Credit. They had low awareness but a high perceived need of Pension Credit. Those that thought they had enough money to ‘survive on’ and thought they would be ineligible. They had high awareness and a low perceived need of Pension Credit. The most financially vulnerable group were too proud to get additional support – viewing Pension Credit as a handout. They had a high awareness of and a high perceived need for Pension Credit.

Journal article

Attitudes towards mental health services in Hispanic older adults: the role of misconceptions and personal beliefs

Authors:
JANG Yuri, et al
Journal article citation:
Community Mental Health Journal, 47(2), April 2011, pp.164-170.
Publisher:
Springer

Focusing on misconceptions and personal beliefs associated with depression, this study explored predictors of attitudes toward mental health services in a sample of 297 Hispanic older adults living in public housing in the USA. Results from a hierarchical regression analysis showed that negative attitudes towards mental health services were predicted by advanced age, belief that having depression would make family members disappointed, and belief that counselling brings too many bad feelings such as anger and sadness. Findings suggest that interventions designed to promote positive attitudes toward mental health services of older Hispanics should address misconceptions and personal beliefs.

Journal article

The concept of 'ageing well' in ten Latin American countries

Authors:
FERNANDEZ-BALLESTEROS R., et al
Journal article citation:
Ageing and Society, 30(1), January 2010, pp.41-56.
Publisher:
Cambridge University Press

A review of several studies examining the lay concept of successful ageing and related concepts leads to the conclusion that older people from different cultures appear to agree on most of the components identified in the literature. From the research emerges a multidimensional conceptualisation of ‘successful ageing’ that is described on the basis of physical, emotional, cognitive and social domains, and which coincides with most theoretical and empirical definitions. The main goal of the present research is to study similarities and differences between concepts of ‘successful ageing’ in several Latin American and European countries and in two different age groups, and also to examine whether a similar structure of the lay concept can be found across both continents. The results show minor differences at item levels among countries, continents and age groups, and a similar internal structure across them.

Journal article

Knowledge about aging and worry in older adults: testing the mediating role of intolerance of uncertainty

Authors:
NUEVO Roberto, et al
Journal article citation:
Aging and Mental Health, 13(1), January 2009, pp.135-141.
Publisher:
Taylor and Francis

This Spanish study aims to explore the relationship between knowledge about aging and severity of worry in older adults, and to test the potential mediational role of intolerance of uncertainty. The sample was composed of 120 community-dwelling older adults, with a mean of age of 71.0 years. Mediational analyses and structural equation modelling were used to analyze and compare different models.  Greater knowledge about aging was negatively related to both intolerance of uncertainty and worry, and its effect on worry was partially mediated by intolerance of uncertainty. The mediational model obtained an excellent fit to the data and clearly had a better fit than alternative models. These results suggest that a good knowledge of the aging process could help decrease aversive uncertainty and thus reduce the level of worry among older adults. Thus, educational programs to increase knowledge about aging could serve as one preventive strategy for anxiety in old age.

Journal article

Willingness to use formal long-term care services by Korean elders and their primary caregivers

Authors:
KIM Hyungsoo, CHOI Won-Young
Journal article citation:
Journal of Aging and Social Policy, 20(4), 2008, pp.474-492.
Publisher:
Routledge
Place of publication:
Philadelphia, USA

Logistic regression models were estimated using 2001 national survey data on 1,168 Korean adults aged 65 or older, and their primary caregivers. More than 70% of the older people were female, mostly with very low levels of formal education, and the majority lived with adult children or spouses. The attitudes of both older people and primary caregivers towards care responsibility were the dominant predictor of willingness to use formal long term care services. These attitudes need to be taken into account as policy makers attempt to normalise the use of formal care (home-based or institutional) and reduce the burden on informal carers. (Copies of this article are available from: Haworth Document Delivery Centre, Haworth Press Inc., 10 Alice Street,  Binghamton, NY 13904-1580).

Journal article

The devil is in the details: self-neglect in Australia

Author:
MCDERMOTT Shannon
Journal article citation:
Journal of Elder Abuse and Neglect, 20(3), 2008, pp.231-250.
Publisher:
Taylor and Francis
Place of publication:
Philadelphia, USA

A qualitative research method is used to explore how 24 Australian health, housing and environmental health professionals understand situations of self-neglect. In contrast to American usage of the term in a broad and all-encompassing sense, the participants distinguished between self-neglect (neglect of the person), squalor (neglect of the environment), collecting (accumulation of certain objects) and hoarding (the inability to throw objects away). It is argued that this differentiation can be useful in developing reflective interventions to deal with these problems. (Copies of this article are available from: Haworth Document Delivery Centre, Haworth Press Inc., 10 Alice Street,  Binghamton, NY 13904-1580).

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