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    Evaluation of the MCAST, a multidisciplinary toolkit to improve mental capacity assessment

    Jayes, Mark ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-0371-7811, Palmer, Rebecca and Enderby, Pamela (2022) Evaluation of the MCAST, a multidisciplinary toolkit to improve mental capacity assessment. Disability and Rehabilitation, 44 (2). pp. 323-330. ISSN 0963-8288

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    Purpose: To evaluate the usability and acceptability of the Mental Capacity Assessment Support Toolkit (MCAST) in healthcare settings and whether its use was associated with increased legal compliance and assessor confidence. Materials and methods: A mixed methods convergence triangulation model was used. Multidisciplinary professionals used the MCAST during mental capacity assessments for UK hospital patients with diagnoses of stroke or acute or chronic cognitive impairment. Changes in legal compliance were investigated by comparing scores on case note audits before and after implementation of the MCAST. Changes in assessor confidence and professionals’ perceptions of the MCAST’s usability and acceptability were explored using surveys. Patients’ and family members’ views on acceptability were determined using semi-structured interviews. Data were integrated using triangulation. Results: Twenty-one professionals, 17 patients and two family members participated. Use of the MCAST was associated with significant increases in legal compliance and assessor confidence. Most professionals found the MCAST easy to use and beneficial to their practice and patients. Patients and family members found the MCAST materials acceptable. Conclusions: The MCAST is the first toolkit to support the needs of individuals with communication disabilities during mental capacity assessments. It enables assessors to deliver high quality, legally compliant and confident practice. IMPLICATIONS FOR REHABILITATION Mental capacity assessment practice needs to be improved to maximise patient autonomy, safety and well-being. The MCAST is a paper-based toolkit designed to facilitate and improve mental capacity practice in England and Wales. This study suggests the MCAST would be easy and acceptable to use in healthcare settings and could lead to improvements in assessment quality and assessor confidence.

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