New tool to strengthen care for those living with dementia

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A new tool created to measure the quality of life of people with dementia will result in better targeted care for those living with the condition, says researchers at the University of Queensland.

The method:

It assesses five key domains that contribute to quality of life – physical health, mood, memory, living situation and ability to do fun activities, and importantly, takes into account the views of people with dementia.

“We found the priorities of people living with dementia and their caregivers differed from the general population, with their living situation and the ability to do fun things being valued as the most important contributors to quality of life,” says Associate Professor Tracy Comans.

“However, people with dementia, their caregivers and the general population all valued memory as least important to good quality of life.”

Dr Comans says nearly 2000 people in the general population completed an online survey, while people with dementia and their caregivers were interviewed in person.

“The views of those with dementia were given priority as we developed the tool.

“The five domains were validated by three focus groups, confirming activities that impact the quality of life for people with dementia could be mapped to one of the domains.

“Study participants individually rated each of the key domains before adding them together to gain a total quality of life score.”

Researchers said the tool could now be used to ensure the perspectives of people with dementia and their caregivers are included when considering interventions for improving quality of life.

This paper was published in the journal PharmacoEconomics (DOI:10.1007/s40273-020-00913-7).