A Meta-Ethnography of Paid Dementia Care Workers’ Perspectives on Their Jobs

Cheryl Cook, Sherri Fay, Kenneth Rockwood



While much work has been to evaluate paid workers’ perspectives on the care they provide dementia patients, there is no evidence of any systematic review of this topic.


We conducted a meta-ethnography of the topic “paid dementia care workers’ perspectives on their jobs.” Multiple databases were searched for qualitative work that reported on workers’ opinions and perspectives on their jobs in dementia care, including all settings and types of jobs. A final group of 34 articles were included, and their themes and constructs synthesized using a meta-ethnographic approach developed by Noblit and Hare.


Five overarching themes uncovered: approach to care, education and training, emotional impact of the work, organizational factors, and relationships on the job. We also describe how the themes are related to each other.


Interplay of the theme areas shows the importance of dementia-specific education and training in terms of the approach to care and emotional impact of the work. Closing the gap between policy and practice is critical, but achieving this will require that attention be paid to dementia-specific education for all workers, including care leaders.


dementia; qualitative; perspectives; dementia care

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5770/cgj.15.37


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ISSN: 1925-8348 (Online)