Guidelines for psychosocial interventions in dementia care: a European survey and comparison

Scientific Institute for Quality of Healthcare and Nijmegen Alzheimer Centre, Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre, Nijmegen, The Netherlands.
International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry (Impact Factor: 3.09). 01/2012; 27(1):40-8. DOI: 10.1002/gps.2687
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The effectiveness of psychosocial interventions in treating people with dementia and their carers is increasingly emphasised in the literature. Dementia guidelines should summarise the scientific evidence and best practice that is currently available, therefore, it should include recommendations for psychosocial interventions. The aims of our study were (1) to collate dementia guidelines from countries across Europe and to check whether they included sections about psychosocial interventions, and (2) to compare the methodological quality and the recommendations for specific psychosocial interventions in these guidelines.
The European dementia guidelines were inventoried. The methodological quality of the guideline sections for psychosocial interventions was assessed with the (AGREE) Appraisal of Guidelines Research and Evaluation instrument. The recommendations for specific psychosocial interventions were extracted from each of these guidelines and compared.
Guidelines for psychosocial interventions were found in five of 12 countries. Guideline developers, methodological quality and appreciation of available evidence influenced the inclusion of psychosocial interventions in dementia guidelines from Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain and the UK. The UK NICE SCIE guideline had the best methodological quality and included the most recommendations for psychosocial interventions. Physical activity and carer interventions were recommended the most across all guidelines.
The inclusion of psychosocial interventions in dementia guidelines is limited across Europe. High-quality guidelines that include psychosocial interventions and are kept up to date with the emerging evidence are needed. Throughout Europe, special attention to the implementation of evidence-based psychosocial care is needed in the next few years.

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    ABSTRACT: Background Two-thirds of nursing home residents suffer from dementia and there is a need for effective and efficient interventions with meaningful outcomes for these individuals. This study aims to identify current best practices in non-pharmacological interventions in nursing homes. Methods A systematic literature review was conducted, following the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) declaration guideline. Studies and Randomized Controlled Trials (RCT) evaluating non-pharmacological interventions focused on improving the Quality of Care (QoC) and/or Quality of Life (QoL) of people with dementia (PwD) living in nursing homes were included. For individual study evaluation, the Cochrane Collaboration risk of bias assessment tool was used. Results A total of 31 articles were included and five main categories emerged: psychosocial and educational, physical activity, sensorial therapies, staff-focused interventions and complex interventions. Psychosocial interventions were the most exhaustively studied and evaluated interventions. Few studies related to physical therapy were identified and they did not provide enough evidence of their effectiveness. Therapeutic touch was revealed to have positive effects on residents with dementia. Conclusion Psychosocial interventions have been shown to have the potential to improve the QoL and QoC of people with dementia in nursing homes. Before implementation of the intervention, it is recommended that activities are adjusted according to residents’ characteristics and external factors controlled to achieve effectiveness and to structure a well-designed intervention. However, there is not enough evidence to support the effectiveness of non-pharmacological interventions in general. Further well-designed research is needed on non-pharmacological interventions in nursing facilities.
    European geriatric medicine 06/2014; 6(2). DOI:10.1016/j.eurger.2014.06.003 · 0.55 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Non-pharmacological interventions are guideline-recommended as initial treatment for people with dementia in nursing homes. In Germany, there is no instrument available to collect standardized data on the application of all of these interventions; an investigation of their use in large-scale samples is not currently possible. This article describes the development and initial testing of a questionnaire (Dementia Care Questionnaire (DemCare-Q) to assess provided non-pharmacological interventions in residents with dementia in nursing homes that can be completed by nurses. The questionnaire development comprised the following steps to achieve content validity and feasibility: a structured content analysis of the German guideline for the care of people with dementia and challenging behavior in nursing homes and a systematic literature review of projects that implemented these; quantitative expert ratings and calculation of content validity indices; qualitative pre-test with future users using cognitive techniques; quantitative pre-test using frequency analysis of item non-response. The developed questionnaire covers seven dementia-specific non-pharmacological interventions in nursing homes. Problematic items could be improved by revising them successively, bringing forth a feasible and content valid version of the DemCare-Q. The DemCare-Q enables researchers to collect data on the application of dementia interventions in German nursing homes in large-scale studies. A literature review, expert rating and multi-method pre-test are important steps of questionnaire development. The applied methods ensure content validity and the practicability of the instrument. The publication of this process enhances the transparency of questionnaire design and supports researchers in solving problems in developing questions to assess the application of interventions. Since these are initial steps of questionnaire development, further testing of its reliability is needed.
    BMC Research Notes 12/2014; 7(1):950. DOI:10.1186/1756-0500-7-950
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Jun 2, 2014