Feasibility and acceptability of a volunteer-mediated diversional therapy program for older patients with cognitive impairment

Anna Wong Shee, Bev Phillips, Keith Hill, Karen Dodd

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15 Citations (Scopus)


Understanding the perceptions of stakeholders is critical for determining acceptability and feasibility of volunteer-mediated programs. This study evaluated the feasibility and acceptability for staff, volunteers, patients and their carers, of a volunteer diversional therapy program for patients with cognitive impairment undergoing inpatient rehabilitation. Post-program structured interviews were conducted with the volunteers (n = 10), patients (n = 30) and their carers (n = 3); and nursing staff (n = 6) participated in a focus group. Thematic analysis identified five themes (values, attitudes, knowledge, purpose, support) in two dimensions (personal, team culture). Overall, patients, carers, staff and volunteers were satisfied with the volunteer program and perceived benefits for quality of care. Recommendations for improvements to the program related to staff engagement with the program and the volunteers' education and training. The volunteer diversional therapy pilot program for patients with cognitive impairment on a sub-acute ward was acceptable and feasible for patients, carers, staff and volunteers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)300-305
Number of pages6
JournalGeriatric Nursing
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Cognitive impairment
  • Elderly
  • Nursing
  • Rehabilitation
  • Volunteers

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