Survey Underscores Interest in Exchange between Health Care Research and Practice

A survey among professionals from health care research and dementia care underlines the strong need for mutual knowledge transfer for better care of people with dementia. The results, published in the journal “Health Expectations”, also serve the further development of TaNDem - DZNE's “Network for Translational Dementia Care Research”.

TaNDem started operations in 2022. The network operated by DZNE provides a nationwide infrastructure for the exchange between science, healthcare practice, people with dementia, and their relatives. This is a major objective the German government’s National Dementia Strategy. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) therefore funded the creation of TaNDem. “Our network now comprises more than 150 stakeholders. This ranges from scientists, doctors and care professionals to people with dementia and their relatives. Currently, TaNDem connects seven sites nationwide,” said Prof. Wolfgang Hoffmann, speaker for DZNE’s Rostock/Greifswald site. “In the first months of operation, we have extensively questioned researchers and health care providers about their needs and expectations of the network. The results serve on the one hand as a status assessment, and on the other hand as an orientation aid for the further development of the network.”

Exemplary results

“Scientists expressed the hope that the network will help them find cooperation partners and provide them with information about new funding calls or research funds,” says Annelie Scharf, research associate at DZNE’s Rostock/Greifswald site. “On the other hand, the wish was expressed from the healthcare area to evaluate the efficiency of dementia-specific facilities and measures as well as to compare care situations regionally. In addition, it became clear that there is a demand to involve people with dementia and their relatives more in the research, including in particular people with a migration background.”

Inter alia, the survey also indicates an interest in simplified access to scientific results. “The TaNDem website is already addressing this need,” says Scharf. “There is a database of the latest research results that makes knowledge from research available in an understandable and abbreviated form. In addition, a monthly newsletter is published that reports on current topics in dementia care and research.”


A central component of TaNDem is its website, which provides generally accessible information as well as a secured area for registered members. “A forum exists there for exchange within the network. In addition, for research projects, you can access a web-based software that identifies medical, care, psychosocial and medication needs of people with dementia and family caregivers,” says Scharf. “This digital survey and care management system is a very helpful tool for future research projects. To encourage and support such efforts is an important objective of the network. The first research project using the technical infrastructure of the TaNDem network is currently in preparation.”


The detailed results of the survey can be found in: Design and implementation of the participatory German network for translational dementia care research (TaNDem): A mixed-method study on the perspectives of healthcare providers and dementia researchers in dementia care research, Annelie Scharf et al., Health Expectations (2023), DOI: 10.1111/hex.13748

April 2023

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