Aging, Community and Health Research Group (ACHRU)

McMaster University

News

ACHRU Trainee Patricia Julian Receives a Master of Science in Nursing

As a nurse, Patricia Julian witnessed firsthand the distress caregivers experience when older adults with Delirium Superimposed on Dementia (DSD) are hospitalized. “This experience increased my interest in the topic and my wish to find knowledge to better support this group of caregivers,” says the ACHRU trainee.

Julian recently earned a Master of Science in Nursing by successfully defending her thesis: Experiences of Caregivers of Older Persons with Delirium Superimposed on Dementia in Acute Care Hospitals: An Interpretive Description Study.

We asked Patricia Julian a few questions about her research and her MSc.

Q: What does your Master of Science in Nursing mean to you? / How do you feel about earning your MSc?

A: I feel honoured and overjoyed to have earned my Master of Science in Nursing. Earning this degree has allowed me to develop my skills as an independent researcher and improve my knowledge of my nursing theory. I am grateful for the support I have obtained from my supervisor, Dr. Jenny Ploeg and my supervisory committee members. Drs. Maureen Markle-Reid and Sharon Kaasalainen.

Q: What is the title of your thesis? Can you please describe it?

A: The title of my thesis is: Experiences of Caregivers of Older Persons with Delirium Superimposed on Dementia in Acute Care Hospitals: An Interpretive Description Study. This thesis aimed to explore caregivers’ experiences caring for an older person with both delirium and dementia in the hospital using qualitative methodology. The study found that caregivers found the experience overwhelming and worried about the care the older person received. Findings also indicated that caregivers’ experiences were influenced by the quality of their relationship with the health care team. A salient finding from this study was that caregivers had the potential to help the health care team in the detection and management of DSD, which can improve both the caregivers’ and older persons; experiences. The study’s findings can be used to support caregivers through the complex DSD hospital experience.

Published on: January 11, 2021

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