A recent pilot study found that European quality indicators (QIs) are problematic for measuring quality of psychosocial care of people with dementia in Asia-Pacific countries, which account for over half of the global population with dementia. The study, co-led by researchers from the Centre for Healthy Brain Ageing (CHeBA) at UNSW Sydney and the University of Sydney, was published in the journal Aging & Mental Health.
The research, undertaken at sixteen residential care facilities in seven Asia-Pacific countries (Australia, Hong Kong, mainland China, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea, and Thailand), found that endorsement of each of the QIs varied considerably across sites, from 0 to 100%.
“Quality of medical records, family and cultural differences, definitions and scoring of some indicators, and the time consuming-nature of QI administration were major concerns for implementation,” said lead author, Professor Yun-Hee Jeon, University of Sydney.
Despite the high proportion of people living with dementia in Asia-Pacific countries and their rapidly ageing populations, psychosocial research about mental health in this area is poorly developed. This is the first collaborative study to evaluate quality of care for residents with dementia in long-term care settings in the area.
“Our findings provide crucial insights for future research and implementation of psychosocial dementia care quality indicators in our region,” said co-author, CHeBA Co-Director Professor Henry Brodaty.
To date, the European QIs are the only content- and face-valid tool for assessing person-centred care (PCC) for people with dementia. The QIs cover seven domains: diagnosis, assessment, care plan and treatment, coordination of care, informal carer, formal carer/staff, and behavioural and psychological symptoms of dementia. PCC is widely recognised as the benchmark approach for improving the wellbeing of people living with dementia. It advocates psychosocial interventions for first-line treatment before pharmacological interventions, which carry increased risks of stroke and mortality.
The study was undertaken by PROMOTE (Psychosocial Research Consortium), a group of international researchers led by Professor Brodaty and Professor Jeon and founded in 2013 with the goal of advancing the mental health of older people in the Asia Pacific region.
This study was partially funded by the Sydney South East Asia Centre Cluster Research Grants, The University of Sydney.
Media contact: Heidi Douglass, Centre for Healthy Brain Ageing,
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