Introducing the ‘3Fs Model of Complexity’ for people with For Peer Review dementia accessing a NHS mental health in-patient dementia assessment ward: an interpretive description study

L. Jones, N. Cullum, R. Watson, John Keady

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: In the United Kingdom, the use of the terms ‘complex’ and ‘complexity’ alongside dementia is reflected in a number of policy and practice documents. However, there is a lack of evidence that explores how complexity it is perceived, constructed and experienced by people with dementia, family carers and practitioners working in the NHS dementia inpatient assessment wards [dementia assessment wards].

Aims: To explore the meaning and concept of complexity in dementia from within the setting of a dementia assessment ward and develop a practice model.

Methods: The study was conducted over three phases: 1) an online electronic survey of UK national dementia leaders; 2) individual interviews and a focus group with dementia practitioners in two dementia assessment wards; 3) case studies of four patients with dementia resident on a dementia assessment ward which included their identified family carer/consultee, the named clinician on the ward involved in that person’s care and a care records review.

Findings: The findings highlighted that complexity is constructed through a number of interconnected and interrelated domains that vary in acuity. These findings have been developed into the ‘3Fs Model of Complexity’ and the 3‘Fs’ stand for Fixed, Flexible and Fluctuating. The Fixed domain consists of six components which are always present in complexity. The Flexible domain consists of 14 components and a person with dementia may experience any number of Flexible domain components at any one time. The Fluctuating domain highlights that all components have the ability to vary in their acuity.

Conclusion: The ‘3Fs Model of Complexity’ may facilitate a more holistic view of a person with dementia than when ‘symptoms’ are viewed in isolation. Going forward, and subject to further refinement and testing, the ‘3Fs Model of Complexity’ could help guide the selection of tailored, personalised interventions for people with dementia, including formulation approaches.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)85-104
JournalDementia
Volume22
Issue number1
Early online date8 Nov 2022
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 8 Nov 2022

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