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International Journal of Nursing Studies Advances






Background: System level demands and interpersonal barriers can disrupt nurse delivery of high-quality information at discharge, which can contribute to a lack of caregiver preparedness to manage care of the patient and ultimately affect patient health.

Objective: To synthesize evidence on effective nurse communication with informal caregivers during hospital discharge of adult patients with cognitive decline or Alzheimer's disease and related dementia.

Design: A scoping review of inpatient nurse communication with informal caregivers.

Methods: Collected research (published between 2011 and 2023) from three databases (MEDLINE, PsycINFO, and CINAHL), along with a separate search for gray literature (N = 18), to extract and synthesize recommended communication practices evidenced to improve the nurse care experience and support caregiver activation and preparedness.

Results: Extraction synthesis of strategies resulted in two themes with corresponding sub-themes: Support (Information exchange, Space and time to determine preparedness, and Positive reinforcement of caregiver efforts) and Structure (Setting shared expectations, Informational resources, and Standardization).

Conclusions: We offer practical recommendations for both interpersonal and policy level facilitation of nurse delivery of high-quality information at discharge to caregivers of patients with serious illness.

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Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.


Communication Studies