Barriers and Facilitators to Screening for Cognitive Impairment in Australian Rural Health Services: A Pilot Study
journal contributionposted on 12.05.2022, 01:51 by Sean MacDermottSean MacDermott, Rebecca McKechnieRebecca McKechnie, Dina LoGiudice, Debra Morgan, Irene BlackberryIrene Blackberry
Australian National standards recommend routine screening for all adults over 65 years by health organisations that provide care for patients with cognitive impairment. Despite this, screening rates are low and, when implemented, screening is often not done well. This qualitative pilot study investigates barriers and facilitators to cognitive screening for older people in rural and regional Victoria, Australia. Focus groups and interviews were undertaken with staff across two health services. Data were analysed via thematic analysis and contextualized within the i-PARIHS framework. Key facilitators of screening included legislation, staff buy-in, clinical experience, appropriate training, and interorganisational relationships. Collaborative implementation processes, time, and workloads were considerations in a recently accredited tertiary care setting. Lack of specialist services, familiarity with patients, and infrastructural issues may be barriers exacerbated in rural settings. In lieu of rural specialist services, interorganisational relationships should be leveraged to facilitate referring 'outwards' rather than 'upwards'.