Practitioner understanding of patients’ preferences, wishes and needs is essential for personalised health care i.e., focusing on ‘what matters’ to people based on their individual life situation. To develop such an understanding, dementia practitioners need to use communication practices that help people share their experiences, preferences, and priorities. Following the COVID-19 pandemic, dementia support is likely to continue to be delivered both remotely and in-person. This study analysed multiple sources of qualitative data to examine the views of practitioners, people living with dementia and carers, and researchers on how an understanding of what matters to people living with dementia can be developed remotely via telephone and video call. Access to environmental stimuli, the remote use of visual tools, peoples’ tendency to downplay or omit details about their troubles and carers’ ability to disclose privately were interpreted, through thematic analysis, to be factors affecting how practitioners sought to develop understanding remotely. Cumulatively, findings show that while remote support created unique challenges to practitioners’ ability to develop understanding for personalised care, practitioners developed adaptive strategies to overcome some of these challenges. Further research should examine how, when and for whom these adapted practices for remote personalised care work, informing the development of evidence-based guidance and training on how practitioners can remotely develop the understanding required for personalised care.



Publication Date


Publication Title

Dementia: The International Journal of Social Research and Practice



Embargo Period


Organisational Unit

Peninsula Medical School