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"It made me see him in a different light" : the use of life story work with older people who have dementia in health and social care practice.

McKeown, Jane (2012) "It made me see him in a different light" : the use of life story work with older people who have dementia in health and social care practice. PhD thesis, University of Sheffield.

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Background: Life story work (LSW) is used within health and social care and has the potential to provide people with: the opportunity to talk about their life experiences; record relevant aspects of individuals' lives in some way; and in doing so use this life story to benefit them in their present situation. Empirical evidence to support LSW use with people with dementia remains scant and most work draws on the perspectives of care staff. Aims: To examine critically the process of undertaking LSW in health and social care; to explore the impact of using LSW on the delivery and outcomes of care for older people with dementia; and to investigate the experience of using LSW with people with dementia from the perspective of care staff, persons with dementia and family carers. Methodology and Methods: After gaining ethical approval, four in-depth case studies involving twenty participants were undertaken employing a constructivist approach. The study was conducted within a large mental health and social care NHS Trust in the North of England. Process consent was taken to recruitment, consent and ongoing involvement. Data were gathered using in-depth semi- structured interviews, formal and informal discussion, observation and a research diary. Data analysis was guided by a framework approach which employed an evolving theoretical framework to interrogate the data. Findings: The findings reveal an enhanced understanding of the process of undertaking LSW and the conditions required for its implementation in health and social care practice. The LSW process and product were found to be of equal importance. A clear link between the use of LSW and the delivery of person- centred care was demonstrated. Family carers valued LSW as a means of upholding the personhood of their relative with dementia; care staff were less able to recognise embodied manifestations of person hood. Conclusion: The empirical evidence on the use of LSW has been extended. A constructivist approach and process consent were found to enable people with dementia to become actively and ethically involved in the research. LSW should be implemented within a planned and systematic approach to reduce any difficulties and to enhance the care offered to people who have dementia and their family carers.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Academic Units: The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health (Sheffield) > Nursing and Midwifery (Sheffield)
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.554913
Depositing User: EThOS Import Sheffield
Date Deposited: 25 Nov 2016 15:56
Last Modified: 25 Nov 2016 15:56
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/14996

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