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Differences in Case Conferences in Dementia Specific vs Traditional Care Units in German Nursing Homes: Results from a Cross-Sectional Study

Published:September 29, 2015DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jamda.2015.08.018

      Abstract

      Objectives

      To investigate differences in the provision and performance of case conferences for people with dementia between dementia special care units (DSCUs) and traditional care units (TCUs) in nursing homes. Because DSCUs employ more staff, we expect the likelihood of the provision of case conferences to be higher in DSCUs.

      Design

      Observational cross-sectional study. Residents from DSCUs and TCUs were compared using genetic propensity score matching over all of the observed potential covariates, including the characteristics that served as admission criteria for DSCUs. Because of the multisite structure of the data, clustering was accounted for with a generalized mixed model.

      Setting

      DSCUs are defined as units within nursing homes that offer care exclusively to residents with dementia and that charge higher rates for the specialized care provided. TCUs are defined as care units for residents with and without dementia.

      Participants

      A matched sample was drawn out of a convenience sample of 1808 residents from 51 nursing homes. It consisted of 264 residents from 16 DSCUs and 264 residents from 48 TCUs.

      Interventions

      None.

      Measurements

      Data regarding the provision of case conferences were collected by the nurses using the Dementia Care Questionnaire. Other collected data included challenging behavior (Neuropsychiatric Inventory Questionnaire), mobility (Physical Self-Maintenance Scale), cognitive impairment (Dementia Screening Scale), and sociodemographic information.

      Results

      In the DSCU group, case conferences were provided to 91% (n = 224) of the residents; in the TCU group, 82.5% (n = 203) received a case conference. After adjusting for clustering, no significant difference between DSCUs and non-DSCUs was found. The topic “challenging behaviors” was discussed more often in case conferences in TCUs.

      Conclusions

      Case conferences are a widespread intervention in German nursing homes, including both DSCUs and TCUs. The provision of a case conference is not a special feature of DSCUs.

      Keywords

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