Insight into effects of dementia

August 2016

Ageing

Country of origin: UK

Medical professionals are able to detect subtle changes in the quality of life of people with mild dementia, thanks to a new self-assessment technique that will help improve the timing of additional help and support.

One of the major problems with dementia is that it is difficult to assess the true impact on the person with the condition, particularly because worsening health does not inevitably lead to a reduction in quality of life.

However those whose quality of life is affected should soon be identified more easily, thanks to new research.

The technique, developed by researchers from the Research Institute for the Care of the Elderly and the University of Bath, will allow patients to self-report their quality of life, providing valuable information about the experience of dementia from the perspective of the person with the condition.

This will enable medical professionals to help patients manage their condition more effectively, offering advice regarding additional support or care, so that any intervention more closely reflects the true needs of the patient.

The assessment, which has been developed with funding from the Alzheimer's Society, is carried out as an interview with the patient, in which they answer a series of questions about different aspects of their life, using a simple response scale.

'For medical professionals and family members it can be very difficult trying to understand how a condition like dementia is affecting the quality of life of a person,' said Dr Richard Trigg from the University of Bath who developed the assessment. '

'Dementia can affect different people in many different ways and we cannot assume that all people with dementia will have a negative quality of life.'

'It is therefore essential that we find ways to assess quality of life, using information obtained directly from the person with dementia, if we are to properly understand the impact of the condition.'

'By monitoring quality of life changes, medical professionals can chart the effectiveness of different treatments and therapies and more accurately determine when those interventions should be delivered.'

'This is crucial to enabling the effective management of this cruel disease.'

Resources

Connecting healthcare professionals with information that matters most March 2017 PracticeUpdate's mission is to connect healthcare professionals with news and information that matters most for patient...
NIHSeniorHealth adds information on heart failure March 2017 NIHSeniorHealth now offers information about the prevention, detection, and treatment of heart failure. Designed especially...
Resource To Meet Growing Issues Of Dementia February 2017 The Eastern Australia Dementia Training and Study Centre (EADTSC) recently launched its ?Dementia Education Online?. The...
Providing integrated care for older people with complex needs February 2017 A recent report synthesises evidence from seven case studies covering Australia, Canada, the Netherlands, New Zealand,...
Risk guidance for people with dementia February 2017 Nothing ventured, nothing gained provides guidance on best practice in assessing, managing and enabling risk for people...
Helping people live well for longer February 2017 A recent document aims to help people understand how the national system as a whole is supporting local action to help...
Healthy ageing in the 21st century January 2017 A report, from the University of Birmingham, explores how good ageing in a multi-cultural society is defined. It is looking...
Frail older people: Safe, compassionate care January 2017 A practical guidance document, from NHS England summarizes the evidence of the effects of an integrated pathway of care for...
Adult immunisation in the UK December 2016 A new report examines the UK adult immunisation policy framework in light of new European research conducted by SAATI...
Shingles Q&A for healthcare professionals November 2016 The aim of the universal vaccination programme is to reduce the incidence and severity of shingles disease in older...
Search by Keyword