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'More at home with dementia' Effects of psychosocial interventions in the community and in nursing homes

PhD ceremony:Ms E.G. (Betty) Birkenhäger-Gillesse
When:October 27, 2021
Supervisors:prof. dr. S.U. (Sytse) Zuidema, prof. dr. W.P. Achterberg
Co-supervisor:S.I.M. Janus
Where:Academy building RUG
Faculty:Medical Sciences / UMCG
'More at home with dementia' Effects of psychosocial interventions
in the community and in nursing homes

The first part of the thesis describes a study into the effect of a dementia caregiver training ‘More at Home with Dementia’. During this training caregivers attend 14 workshops on all relevant changes that come with living with someone with dementia. The partners with dementia have their own program. The training lasted five days and took place in a holiday accommodation. Training groups consisted of maximum six dyads of cohabiting caregivers and persons with dementia. Although the training did, on average, not have a positive effect on the quality of life of the caregiver, subgroups of men and people with less education experienced a better quality of life compared to the control group. During follow-up meetings participants reported a variety of positive effects e.g., more acceptance, better coping and improved general knowledge on dementia and facilities. A cost-effectiveness analysis showed that the training probably saves money. The first year after the training the intervention group made use of significantly less day care, home care and nursing home care. This saving more than outweighed the costs of the intervention. because of these positive effects, the training is still offered. Part two describes a describes a review of the literature on the effect of psychosocial interventions aimed at behavioral problems of people with dementia on psychotropic drug use in nursing homes. The results of this study show that these interventions may lead to a significant reduction of antipsychotic drug use, especially in studies reporting on cultural change and involving the prescribing physician.