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Introduction: The effect of coronavirus (COVID-19) on people living with dementia is potentially severe in its clinical impacts. More widely, for this vulnerable group, the social restrictions to limit the spread of infection may be emotionally and psychologically damaging.
Aim: To explore the impact of restrictions on well-being for people with moderate to severe dementia in acute mental health hospital care.
Method: “Dementia Care Mapping” was the observational tool used to determine
well- or ill-being. Observations were undertaken in two mental health hospital wards during a time of restrictions and the use of personal protective equipment.
Results: We report levels of well-being that are higher than might be expected alongside a change in the focus of psychological care delivered through mental health nursing interventions aimed at enhancing well-being. Discussion—We postulate that mental health nurses faced with an unprecedented challenge respond by changing practice to mitigate for infection prevention measures and to compensate for family absence.
Implications for practice: We suggest that the desirable enhancing actions by nursing staff which raise well-being in these hospital settings are readily transferable to other settings that are aiming to maintain well-being but also practising under COVID-19 restrictions.


  • dementia care, patient experience, older adult psychiatry, psycho-social
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)961-969
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing
Issue number6
Early online date23 Apr 2021
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2021

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