The conduct and process of mental capacity assessments in home healthcare settings

Cliff, C. & Mcgraw, C. (2016). The conduct and process of mental capacity assessments in home healthcare settings. British Journal of Community Nursing, 21(11), pp. 570-577. doi: 10.12968/bjcn.2016.21.11.570

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Abstract

The assessment of capacity to consent to treatment is key to shared practitioner–patient decision-making. It is the responsibility of the person closest to the decision being made to carry out the assessment. The aim was to examine the factors that influence mental capacity assessments in home health care settings and identify the facilitators and inhibitors to the conduct and process of assessments as perceived and experienced by non-medical health practitioners providing generalist community services. Semi-structured interviews with a purposive sample of community nurses, community physiotherapists and community occupational therapists in one NHS Trust in London. Data were analysed thematically. The main themes were issues relating to: intrinsic patient factors and behaviours; recognising, managing and utilising the influence of the family; practitioner motivation and competence; working together as a team to optimise shared decision making, and; the importance of place. While some issues appear germane to both hospital and home health care settings, others are unique to – or manifest very differently in – home health care settings. The findings suggest that the influence of family members, long-term practitioner–patient relationships and physical distance from co-workers make the conduct and process of mental capacity assessments in home health care settings an inherently complex endeavour.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine
R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0321 Neuroscience. Biological psychiatry. Neuropsychiatry
Divisions: School of Health Sciences
URI: http://openaccess.city.ac.uk/id/eprint/15876

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