Operationalising the Recovery College model with people living with dementia: a realist review

Melanie Handley, Charlotte Wheeler, Claire Duddy, Geoff Wong, Linda Birt, Chris Fox, Esme Moniz-Cook, Corinna Hackmann, Bonnie Teague, Juniper West

Research output: Contribution to journalLiterature reviewpeer-review

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Post-diagnostic support is a significant factor for facilitating personal recovery following a diagnosis of dementia, but access is often inconsistent and insufficient. Recovery Colleges offer peer-led, co-produced courses that can support people to have meaningful lives and have been adapted for use in the context of dementia. A realist review was conducted to understand the application and sustainability of Recovery College dementia courses.
An iterative, five-step process combined literature published to 2023 with knowledge from stakeholders with lived and professional experience of dementia involved with Recovery College dementia courses (PROSPERO registration CRD42021293687).
Thirty-five documents and discussions with 19 stakeholders were used to build the initial programme theory comprising of 24 context-mechanism-outcome configurations. Reoccurring factors included: attending to aspects of co-production and course delivery to ensure they promoted inclusion and were not compromised by organisational pressures; how stigma impacted access to course opportunities; and embedding personal recovery principles throughout course development to be relevant for people living with dementia and those who support them.
People struggling to reconcile their future alongside dementia need practical and emotional support to access and benefit from Recovery College dementia courses, ways to achieve this will be explored through a realist evaluation.
Original languageEnglish
Article number2356878
Pages (from-to)1-12
Number of pages12
JournalAging and Mental Health
Early online date8 Jun 2024
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 8 Jun 2024


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