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The Use of ‘Talking Mats’ by Persons with Alzheimer in the Netherlands: Increasing Shared Decision‐Making by Using a Low‐ Tech Communication Aid

Authors:

Corinna Reitz ,

Zuyd University of Applied Sciences, Faculty of Health, NL
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Ruth Dalemans

Zuyd University of Applied Sciences, Faculty of Health, NL
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Abstract

Background: Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is the most frequent form of dementia. Frequently decisions are made for the persons with AD because of problems with communication. To avoid this, the low-tech communication aid Talking Mats (TM) can be used.

Aim: The study was threefold: 1) to observe the effect of TM on shared decisions in communication with people with AD; 2) to assess if TM affects the use of language by people with AD in conversation; 3) to get insight in the usability of the Dutch version of TM for persons with AD and their relatives.

Methods: The study followed a cross-over design. There for TM was translated into Dutch for use. TM was used in communication between persons with AD and a relative (n=6). Shared decisions were evaluated by using the observation list OPTION which was filled in by an external observer. The language used by the participants with AD was analyzed as regards seven language elements which are typical for Alzheimer. Semi-structured interviews took place.

Results: Shared decisions significantly increased. There was no effect of TM on the frequency of the seven analyzed language aspects.

Conclusion: The Dutch version of TM is an efficient communication framework which supports the process of shared decisions between persons with AD and their relatives.

How to Cite: Reitz, C. and Dalemans, R., 2016. The Use of ‘Talking Mats’ by Persons with Alzheimer in the Netherlands: Increasing Shared Decision‐Making by Using a Low‐ Tech Communication Aid. Journal of Social Inclusion, 7(2), pp.35–47. DOI: http://doi.org/10.36251/josi.110
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Published on 15 Dec 2016.
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