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Title: Multiple perspectives on the quality of life of people with severe dementia living in a care home: A case study approach.
Author: Brown, Margaret Mullen
ISNI:       0000 0004 7652 0299
Awarding Body: University of the West of Scotland
Current Institution: University of the West of Scotland
Date of Award: 2016
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This thesis explores the experience and perceptions of quality of life of the person with severe dementia living in a care home. Paucity of research on this topic is complicated by the person’s reduced verbal communication and vulnerability. Highly dependent on others for all aspects of living, there is a risk the person may be perceived as having a limited capacity to experience a positive quality of life, leading to reduced expectations and ambitions in care. Drawing on a social constructionist perspective has informed a qualitative collective case study approach. Mixed methods were used, including 18 hours of observation and 24 interviews, supported by care documents, rating scales and artefacts. This empirical data was examined through theoretical perspectives on quality of life, interwoven with philosophical concerns about the self and agency in severe dementia. Cross case analysis, integrating the findings from six in depth individual case reports, identified themes interrogated and presented within four key assertions. These identify how aspects of quality of life were expressed through the senses and body of the person, supported by a life narrative; where a nuanced and shared understanding by others may influence quality of life; how recognition of this fragile balance for the person might be maintained and refined, leading to a recognition and refocusing on quality of life for the person with severe dementia. The implications arising from this thesis indicate a need to refocus towards sensory-based practice in supporting the fundamentals of daily life, within a shared and nuanced framework of relationships. Evidence from this study shows that aspects of quality of life can be discerned, influenced and enhanced for the person with severe dementia. As a singular period in the life of the person, emphasis on quality of life should be more closely integrated into the narrative of severe dementia.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available