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Information needs and information seeking behaviour of people with dementia and their non-professional caregivers: a scoping review

  • Tudor Car, L
Publication Date
Feb 03, 2020
Spiral - Imperial College Digital Repository


Background: People with dementia often require full-time caregivers especially in the later stages of their condition. People with dementia and caregivers’ access to reliable information on dementia is essential as it may have an important impact on patient care and quality of life. This study aims to provide an overview of the information needs and information seeking behaviour of people with dementia and their non-professional caregivers. Methods: We conducted a scoping review of the literature and searched four electronic databases for eligible studies published up to August 2018. Two reviewers independently screened studies and extracted data. Information needs were classified according to emerging themes in the literature, and information seeking behaviour was categorized using Wilson’s model of information behaviour. Results: Twenty studies with a total of 4,140 participants, were included in this review. Reported information needs focused on: (i) disease; (ii) patient care provision; (iii) healthcare services; and (iv) caregiver self-care. The most commonly reported information need was on healthcare service-related information. Characteristics found to influence information needs were the severity of dementia as well as patient and caregiver status. People with dementia and non-professional caregivers mainly displayed active searching, information seeking behaviour and preferred using electronic sources to obtain health information. Conclusion: Current dementia information sources available in English are extensive in the information they offer, but more emphasis needs to be placed on healthcare service-related information. All studies originated from high income countries and focused on information needs of non-professional caregivers only. The only variables found to be associated to information needs were severity of dementia condition as well as patient/caregiver status. The information needs identified in this review can be used to inform development and design of future dementia resources for people with dementia and their non-professional caregivers.

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