a1 St. Joseph's Health Care and Lawson Health Research Institute, London, Ontario, Canada
a2 Center on Aging, Department of Community Medicine, West Virginia University, Morgantown, West Virginia, U.S.A.
a3 Department of Psychology, James Cook University, Townsville, Queensland, Australia
a4 Department of Health Sciences, Lund University, Lund, Sweden
Background: The International Psychogeriatric Association Task Force on Mental Health Services in Long-Term Care Facilities aims to support and strengthen mental health services in the long-term care sector. The purpose of this paper is to identify broad principles that may underpin the drive towards meeting the mental health needs of residents of long-term care facilities and their families, as well as to enhance the overall delivery of residential care services.
Methods: Principles of good care are extrapolated from an analysis of international consensus documents and existing guidelines and discussed in relation to the research and practice literature.
Results: Although the attention to principles is limited, this review reveals an emerging consensus that: (1) residential care should be situated within a continuum of services which are accessible on the basis of need; (2) there should be an explicit focus on quality of care in long-term care facilities; and (3) quality of life for the residents of these facilities should be a primary objective. We take a broad perspective on the challenges associated with actualizing each of these principles, taking into consideration key issues for families, facilities, systems and societies.
Conclusions: Recommendations for practice, policy and advocacy to establish an internationally endorsed principles-based framework for the evolution and development of good mental health care within long-term care facilities are provided.
(Received November 17 2009)
(Revised March 04 2010)
(Revised April 01 2010)
(Accepted April 08 2010)
(Online publication July 02 2010)
c1 Correspondence should be addressed to: Dr. Maggie Gibson, Veterans Care Program, Parkwood Hospital, St. Joseph's Health Care London, 801 Commissioners Road East, London, Ontario, Canada, N6C 5J1. Phone: 519-685-4292 ext. 42708; Fax: 519-685-4031. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.