• A narrative review of literature on the use of health and social care by older trans adults: what can United Kingdom services learn?

      Benbow, Susan Mary; Eost-Telling, Charlotte; Kingston, Paul; University of Chester; Older Mind Matters Ltd
      We carried out a narrative review and thematic analysis of literature on the physical healthcare, mental healthcare and social care of trans older adults to ascertain what is known about older trans adults’ contacts with and use of health and social care. Thirty papers were found: a majority originated in the United States. Five themes were identified: experience of discrimination/ prejudice and disrespect; health inequalities; socioeconomic inequalities; positive practice; and staff training and education. The first three themes present challenges for providers and service users. Experiences of discrimination/ prejudice and disrespect over the course of their lives powerfully influence how older trans adults engage with care services and practitioners. Health and socio-economic inequalities suggest that older trans adults are likely to have greater need of services and care. The remaining two themes offer opportunities for service improvement. We conclude that more research is needed, that there is a strong argument for taking a life course perspective in a spirit of cultural humility, and that contextual societal factors influence service users and providers. We identify positive trans-inclusive practices which we commend to services. More needs to be done now to make older adult services appropriate and welcoming for trans service users.
    • Web-Based STAR E-Learning Course Increases Empathy and Understanding in Dementia Caregivers: Results from a Randomized Controlled Trial in the Netherlands and the United Kingdom

      Hattink, Bart; Meiland, Franka; van der Roest, Henriëtte; Kevern, Peter; Abiuso, Francesca; Bengtsson, Johan; Giuliano, Angele; Duca, Annalise; Sanders, Jennifer; Basnett, Fern; et al. (JMIR Publications, 2015-10-30)
      Background: The doubling of the number of people with dementia in the coming decades coupled with the rapid decline in the working population in our graying society is expected to result in a large decrease in the number of professionals available to provide care to people with dementia. As a result, care will be supplied increasingly by untrained informal caregivers and volunteers. To promote effective care and avoid overburdening of untrained and trained caregivers, they must become properly skilled. To this end, the European Skills Training and Reskilling (STAR) project, which comprised experts from the domains of education, technology, and dementia care from 6 countries (the Netherlands, Sweden, Italy, Malta, Romania, and the United Kingdom), worked together to create and evaluate a multilingual e-learning tool. The STAR training portal provides dementia care training both for informal and formal caregivers. Objective: The objective of the current study was to evaluate the user friendliness, usefulness, and impact of STAR with informal caregivers, volunteers, and professional caregivers. Methods: For 2 to 4 months, the experimental group had access to the STAR training portal, a Web-based portal consisting of 8 modules, 2 of which had a basic level and 6 additional modules at intermediate and advanced levels. The experimental group also had access to online peer and expert communities for support and information exchange. The control group received free access to STAR after the research had ended. The STAR training portal was evaluated in a randomized controlled trial among informal caregivers and volunteers in addition to professional caregivers (N=142) in the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. Assessments were performed with self-assessed, online, standardized questionnaires at baseline and after 2 to 4 months. Primary outcome measures were user friendliness, usefulness, and impact of STAR on knowledge, attitudes, and approaches of caregivers regarding dementia. Secondary outcome measures were empathy, quality of life, burden, and caregivers’ sense of competence. Results: STAR was rated positively by all user groups on both usefulness and user friendliness. Significant effects were found on a person-centered care approach and on the total score on positive attitudes to dementia; both the experimental and the control group increased in score. Regarding empathy, significant improvements were found in the STAR training group on distress, empathic concern, and taking the perspective of the person with dementia. In the experimental group, however, there was a significant reduction in self-reported sense of competence. Conclusions: The STAR training portal is a useful and user-friendly e-learning method, which has demonstrated its ability to provide significant positive effects on caregiver attitudes and empathy.