Dementia care practices among community healthcare workers in Vietnam: a qualitative descriptive study

Hong Le Huynh-Truong, Yea Ing Lotus Shyu*, Thuy Khanh Linh Tran, Hsiu Li Huang, Viet Anh Do

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Article peer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Vietnam is one of the most rapidly aging countries in the world and the likelihood that someone may have dementia rises dramatically as the population ages. Although caring for persons living with dementia is important, little is known about the circumstances under which community healthcare professionals in Vietnam provide dementia care. This study aimed to describe the practice of caring for persons with dementia among community healthcare professionals in Vietnam. Methods: This qualitative descriptive study was conducted with 23 community healthcare professionals recruited from 10 primary healthcare centers, representing 10 of 24 districts in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Participants were physicians (n = 11), physician’s assistants (n = 8) and community nurses (n = 4). Data were collected through in-depth face-to-face semi-structured interviews. Interview data were audio recorded, transcribed verbatim, and analyzed using content analysis. Results: The mean age of the 23 participants was 44.6 ± 8.8 years; most were female (n = 16, 69.6%); and the mean time of working in the field of dementia care was 15.9 ± 8.4 years. Analysis of the interview data revealed five categories, which informed how care was provided: 1) Knowledge about dementia and its prevalence among older adults; 2) Identification of dementia in Vietnam; 3) Lack of attention to early diagnosis of dementia and difficulty in providing continuous care; 4) Dependence on family members for prompt and continuous care; and 5) challenges to providing dementia care. Despite having knowledge about dementia, some healthcare professionals incorrectly viewed dementia as an inevitable part of the ageing process. Participants reported that their limited training and practical experience in caring for persons with dementia caused a lack of confidence in dementia care. Conclusions: The quality of care provided to persons living with dementia was negatively impacted by the limited training of healthcare personnel. The diagnosis, treatment, and provision of supportive services to persons living with dementia and their families are substantial challenges for the Vietnamese healthcare system. It is crucial to initiate and cultivate dementia care education programs aimed at expanding curricula for physicians, physicians’ assistants, and nurses.

Original languageEnglish
Article number562
Pages (from-to)562
JournalBMC Geriatrics
Volume23
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 14 09 2023

Bibliographical note

© 2023. BioMed Central Ltd., part of Springer Nature.

Keywords

  • Community healthcare professional
  • Confidence
  • Dementia care practices
  • Dementia knowledge
  • Older persons with dementia
  • Physicians
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Dementia/diagnosis
  • Vietnam/epidemiology
  • Health Personnel
  • Female
  • Aged
  • Community Health Services

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