International Practice Recommendations for the Recognition and Management of Hearing and Vision Impairment in People with Dementia
Gerontology. 2021 Jun 4:1-15. doi: 10.1159/000515892. Online ahead of print.
INTRODUCTION: Hearing, vision, and cognitive impairment commonly co-occur in older people. However, the rate of recognition and appropriate management of combined hearing and vision impairment in people with dementia impairment is low. The aim of this work was to codevelop internationally relevant, multidisciplinary practice recommendations for professionals involved in the diagnosis, care, and management of older people with these concurrent conditions.
METHODS: We applied consensus methods with professional and lay expert stakeholders, using an adapted version of the World Health Organization Handbook for Guideline Development. The development involved 4 phases and included: (1) collating existing evidence, (2) filling the gaps in evidence, (3) prioritising evidence, and (4) refining the final list of recommendations. Each phase encompassed various methodologies including a review of existing guidelines within the 3 clinical domains, systematic reviews, qualitative studies, a clinical professional consortium, surveys, and consensus meetings with interdisciplinary domain experts.
RESULTS: The task force evaluated an initial list of 26 recommendations, ranking them in the order of priority. A consensus was reached on 15 recommendations, jwhich are classified into 6 domains of "awareness and knowledge," "recognition and detection," "evaluation," "management," "support," and "services and policies." Pragmatic options for implementation for each domain were then developed.
CONCLUSION: This is the first set of international, interdisciplinary practice recommendations that will guide the development of multidisciplinary services and policy to improve the lives of people with dementia and hearing and vision impairment.