Longitudinal survey of dementia-related institutional and resident characteristics in German nursing homes
During the past couple of years numerous care concepts and intervention methods have been developed to improve the quality of care and life of people with dementia. In 2007 the „Guidelines for the care of people with dementia and challenging behavior in long-term care institutions“ were published. They represent an established professional and scientific base for the care of people with dementia. Contrary to these guidelines, the persisting conditions in long-term care institutions are characterized by inadequate staffing and staff qualifications as well as a high work load.
So far it is not known whether nursing homes can successfully manage structural adaptations which are necessary for a sustainable implementation of the recommended care concepts and interventions. There are also no findings about whether the care staff applies the concepts and interventions for people with challenging behavior. Furthermore, it is not known whether there are correlations between the interventions and behavior and quality of life of the residents.
Aim of the project is to explore the care of people with dementia in long-term care institutions with regard to the implementation of special care approaches for people with dementia. The following three fields are brought into focus:
- structural conditions,
- implementation of care concepts and interventions as well as
- quality of life and challenging behavior of nursing home residents
Another focus is measuring the residents' quality of life which is conducted by the local care staff using a standardized assessment method. Other study topics are shown in the following figure.
The data collection is carried out by the staff of the participating institutions using a newly developed multilevel instrument. It is composed of three questionnaires that collect data on three levels: the institution, the participating living units and the residents. One staff member of each institution works as a coordinator and contact person for the DZNE. This person will receive a whole day of training in preparation for this work. The data collection takes place once a year, ending on May 31st . After closing the data collection each participating institution will be provided with an individual report.
The expected scientific results of the project DemenzMonitor will enable the description of possible connections between structural conditions of long-term care institutions. In the future, recommendations for further development of long-term care institutions can be deduced from these results. In addition to this, the participation in the DemenzMonitor study supports a scientifically based estimation of the care situation of people with dementia. Therefore it contributes to the institutions' internal quality management. For this purpose, each participating institution is provided with an outcome report on its individual results. In terms of benchmarking each nursing home can compare its own care service with other participating institutions.