Community-Based Care of the Elderly in Rural Japan: A Review of Nurse-Led Interventions and Experiences

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Journal Article
Journal of Community Health, 2014, 39 (5), pp. 1020 - 1028
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© 2014, Springer Science+Business Media New York. Nurses play a critical role in delivering care to elderly people at primary health care level but there is no synthesis of research knowledge to guide community nursing practice in Japan. This review aims to identify nurse-led interventions that have been found to improve elder health at village level; the barriers and constraints that service providers face when delivering care to the elderly; and the experiences of elderly people and their caregivers. The electronic databases such as MEDLINE, CINAHL and Google Scholar were searched to retrieve peer-reviewed primary research literature. A narrative synthesis of the findings sections of the papers was applied to identify key themes. These themes are: socioculturally appropriate care; health improvements; barriers and constraints to care delivery and; experience of the elderly and families. Seven papers were included in the review. The synthesis identified that nurse-led health care for the elderly in rural Japan can be effective when it is targeted and culturally sensitive. The studies highlight a number of barriers to the provision of care. There is a need for further research to examine the issues affecting access to rural nursing care including health system factors, as well as the needs of the elderly and families themselves. Such studies will better inform the delivery of programs, reduce inequity and provide socio-culturally appropriate care to improve the well-being of the elderly.
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