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Outcome measures for routine use in dementia services: some practical considerations.
  1. I J Higginson,
  2. P M Jefferys,
  3. C S Hodgson
  1. London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London.

    Abstract

    OBJECTIVES: To work with specialist community teams to assess the practicality and acceptability of identified outcome measures for routine use in dementia services. SETTING: Seven specialist dementia services: four multidisciplinary teams, a specialist service for carers, a community psychiatric nurse team, and a day hospital. SUBJECTS: 20 members of staff from the specialist dementia services including psychiatry, community psychiatric nursing, social work, occupational therapy, Admiral nursing, ward management, geriatric nursing. MAIN MEASURE: A questionnaire designed to assess staff views on the use of six outcome measures in routine practice in terms of practicality, relevance, acceptability, and use in improving care. RESULTS: Each of the outcome measures took 15 to 30 minutes to administer. All were rated as easy to use and as relevant to dementia services and to carers. Staff commented that the measures could be useful in routine practice for structured assessment and service evaluation, but highlighted the need for sensitive use of measures with carers. CONCLUSIONS: These measures consider the main domains of functioning for people with dementia and their carers. The measures are suitable for use in routine practice in dementia services and are acceptable to staff and carers. The project underlined the need for management support, staff ownership of measures, and training in using outcome measures. Staff concerns about service evaluation need to be acknowledged.

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