Specialist dementia nursing models and impacts: A systematic review

Pat Brown, Alexandra Burton, Jordan Ayden, Karen Harrison Denning, Juanita Hoe, Claudia Cooper

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose of review: Dementia policy priorities recommend that people who are living with dementia and their family should have access to support and interventions delivered by dementia specialists, including specialist nurses. However, specialist dementia nursing models and role-related competencies are not clearly defined. We systematically review the current evidence regarding specialist dementia nursing models and their impacts.

Recent findings: Thirty-one studies from across three databases, and grey literature were included in the review. One framework defining specific specialist dementia nursing competencies was found. We did not find convincing evidence of the effectiveness of specialist nursing dementia services, relative to standard models of care from the current, limited evidence base, although families living with dementia valued it. No Randomised Controlled Trial (RCT) has compared the impact of specialist nursing on client and carer outcomes relative to less specialist care, although one nonrandomised study reported that specialist dementia nursing reduces emergency and inpatient service use compared with a usual care group.

Summary: Current models of specialist dementia nursing are numerous and heterogeneous. Further exploration of the specialist nursing skills and the impact of specialist nursing interventions is needed to usefully inform workforce development strategies and clinical practice.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)376-390
Number of pages15
JournalCurrent Opinion in Psychiatry
Issue number5
Early online date16 May 2023
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2023


  • dementia
  • interventions
  • skills
  • specialist nursing
  • systematic review

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