Physicians' and Nurses' Perceived Usefulness and Acceptability of a Family Information Booklet about Comfort Care in Advanced Dementia

Jenny T. Van Der Steen, Franco Toscani, Tjomme De Graas, Silvia Finetti, Miharu Nakanishi, Taeko Nakashima, Kevin Brazil, Cees M.P.M. Hertogh, Marcel Arcand

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Families of patients with advanced dementia need to be informed about the course of the dementia and comfort care. Conditional for health care providers educating families is their knowledge and comfort in family education. Methods: Perceived usefulness and acceptability of a Canadian family booklet explaining possible complications and comfort care in dementia was assessed by physicians and nurses caring for dementia patients in 14 nursing homes in Lombardy, Italy and 21 in the Netherlands. The practitioners received a questionnaire and translated versions adapted to local practice where needed. In 10 of 21 Dutch homes, physicians evaluated only the original Canadian version in English. A 15-item scale assessed the booklet's acceptability, for example, to inform families, or for educational purposes. Perceived usefulness referred to proportion of families of dementia patients for whom the booklet would be useful. A total of 168 evaluations were available for multivariable regression analyses. Results: The practitioners anticipated that the booklet would be useful for most families. Evaluation of the Dutch translation of the booklet was similar to the English version. Country (Netherlands) and profession (nurses) were independently associated with better acceptability. Usefulness was perceived as better by Italian respondents and nurses, but only in analyses unadjusted for the higher educational needs of these respondents. Conclusion: Overall, the concept of written information on comfort care was appreciated by practitioners of European countries differing in attitudes toward end-of-life care. A booklet may help practitioners, and in particular nurses, in providing comfort care for dementia patients and their families.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)614-622
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Palliative Medicine
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2011 May 1


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