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Do people with dementia find lies and deception in dementia care acceptable?

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Thomas Meyer, Dr David Lee



Objectives: Research suggests that the use of lies and deception are prevalent in dementia care settings. This issue has been explored from the view point of carers and professionals, and the acceptability and ethicality of deception in dementia care remains an area of heated debate. This article explored the issue of lies and deception in dementia care from the unique perspective of the people being lied to: People with Dementia. Method: This study used a qualitative methodology, specifically, Grounded Theory (GT). The study used a two-phased design. Phase one involved a series of one-to-one interviews with People with Dementia. During phase two, the participants were re-interviewed in order to develop the emerging theory. Results: Lies were considered to be acceptable if told in People with Dementia's best interest. This best interest decision was complex, and influenced by factors such as the person with dementia's awareness of the lie, and the carer's motivation for lying. A model depicting these factors is discussed. Conclusion: This study enables the perspective of People with Dementia to be considered, therefore providing a more complete understanding of the use of deceptive practices in dementia care settings. This study suggests that the use of lies and deception in dementia care warrants further investigation.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Day AM, James IA, Meyer TD, Lee DR

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Aging & Mental Health

Year: 2011

Volume: 15

Issue: 7

Pages: 822-829

Print publication date: 01/01/2011

Date deposited: 26/06/2014

ISSN (print): 1360-7863

ISSN (electronic): 1364-6915

Publisher: Routledge


DOI: 10.1080/13607863.2011.569489


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