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Policy

Psychological Dimensions of Dementia

18 April 2018

The following documents, put together by the British Psychological Society Dementia Advisory Group, present a psychological perspective on the nature and experience of dementia, outline the extensive contributions that psychologists have made in this field, and issue a number of recommendations on how to improve understanding and care for those experiencing dementia and their families.

Putting the Person at the Centre of Care

This document has been designed to reflect universally applicable principles of good psychological practice, while also recognising that there are key differences between the four UK nations in terms of policy, strategy emphasis, and service delivery.

In addition to outlining the roles and contributions of psychologists in the field of dementia care (particularly in supporting a move towards addressing dementia not only in terms of the underlying disease but also in considering the practical dimensions of social and cognitive disability associated with it), this report presents recommendations for action in the following areas:

  • Prevention
  • Assessment
  • Planning of care
  • Treatment and support
  • Dealing effectively and appropriately with families and carers
  • Training and research

These recommendations were produced in consultation with people experiencing dementia, their families, and their carers, in order to present a truly person-centred approach to dementia treatment and management in the UK.


Evidence Briefing: Dementia, accessibility, and minority groups

The aim of this document is to provide an overview of the needs of people who are affected by dementia, their families and carers from black, asian and minority ethnic groups.

The briefing paper summarise research and clinical evidence in this area so as to aid commissioners and other stakeholders to shape the service landscape.

It is not intended to be read as a set of recommendations for practitioners.


Evidence Briefing: Mild Cognitive Impairment

The aim of this document is to provide an overview of the current evidence relating to states, such as Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI), which may lead onto a dementia, and the support that may be needed by those where problems are detected before a dementia may be diagnosed.

It is not intended to be read as a set of recommendations for practitioners.


Evidence Briefing: 'Behaviour that challenges' in dementia

This briefing outlines the importance of having a psychological understanding of the complex causes of ‘behaviour that challenges’ (BtC) and related interventions to meet the needs of the person living with dementia. It summarises research and clinical evidence in this arena, to aid commissioners and other stakeholders to shape the service landscape.

It is not intended to be read as a set of recommendations for practitioners.


Evidence Briefing: Emotional and Psychological Needs in Advanced Dementia

The aim of this document is to provide an overview of the needs of people with advanced dementia. A person may be described as having advanced dementia when they experience a severe degree of cognitive impairment and disability due to the progression of dementia. This may include significantly affected or total loss of speech, mobility problems, incontinence and severe impairment of functional abilities.

This briefing paper aims to summarise research and clinical evidence in this area and to aid commissioners and other stakeholders in shaping the service landscape. It is not intended to be read as a set of recommendations for practitioners.


Evidence Briefing: Psychological Needs of People with Young-Onset Dementia

This briefing paper outlines key messages and evidence relating the occurrence and nature of young onset dementias and the experiences and needs of people living with or caring for someone whose dementia onset occurs before the age of 65 years. The paper does not contain specific recommendations for practitioners but does advocate a systemic approach to understanding and addressing the impact of these conditions. 


Evidence Briefing: The Importance of Timely Support After a Diagnosis of Dementia

This document provides an overview of the needs of people affected by dementia, their families and carers, and the important role of psychosocial interventions in meeting these needs.

It focuses on the needs of people living at home, relatively soon after diagnosis, and aims to summarise research and evidence in this area to aid commissioners and other stakeholders to shape the service landscape. It is not intended as a set of recommendations for practitioners.


Evidence Briefing: Early Detection

The aim of this document is to provide an overview of the current evidence relating to the early detection of the dementias, focusing on what is meant by ‘early’ in this context, and the potential avenues for detection.

This briefing paper aims to summarise research and clinical evidence in this area and to aid commissioners and other stakeholders to shape the service landscape. It is not intended to be read as a set of recommendations for practitioners. 


Evidence Briefing: Psychological Therapies for People With Dementia

The aim of this document is to provide an overview of the evidence base for psychological therapies with people with a diagnosis of dementia and their families.

This briefing paper aims to summarise research and clinical evidence in this area and to aid commissioners and other stakeholders to shape the service landscape. It is not intended to be read as a set of recommendations for practitioners.


Evidence Briefing: The Psychological Needs of Families and Carers of People With Dementia

The aim of this document is to provide an evidence-based summary of the psychological needs of family members and carers of people living with dementia, and to recommend evidence-based ways of addressing such needs.

It is not intended to be read as a set of recommendations for practitioners but aims to aid commissioners and other stakeholders to shape the service landscape. 


Evidence Briefing: Making and Sharing a Diagnosis of Dementia

The aim of this briefing paper is to provide an overview of the psychological dimensions of the process of assessing a person with a suspected dementia, diagnosing dementia if present, and sharing the outcome with the person and their family.

The document aims to summarise research and best practice in this area to aid commissioners and other stakeholders in shaping the service landscape. It is not intended to be read as a set of recommendations for practitioners.

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