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Effectiveness of the ‘Spark of Life’ dementia care program

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journal contribution
posted on 2017-12-06, 00:00 authored by Joella StoreyJoella Storey, B Joyner, C Schweitzer
Aim: The primary aim of this study is to evaluate the effectiveness of the ‘Spark of Life’ (SOL) program (a person-centered dementia care program) in improving outcomes for people with dementia and their carers. To date there has been no empirical research to evaluate the impact of this program on persons with dementia. The specific aims of the current study are to assess the effect of the SOL Program on: (1) Quality of life, satisfaction and person specific clinical outcomes for people with dementia (mild to moderate). (2) Caregiving satisfaction and approaches to dementia care for nurse caregivers. (3) Families’/Relatives' perceptions of care (satisfaction with care) and perceptions of the quality of life for their loved one with dementia. Method: The research design utilises multiple single-subject (small n) designs. The inclusion of multiple and heterogeneous study participants in which a complex intrasubject design is repeated increases the confidence that can be placed in inferences made about the intervention. The basic design is a time series for a single person(s) and a single outcome, with a single time of intervention. Results: Data analysis utilizes a combination of statistical and visual inspection methods. Continuous assessment (across 8-10 months) of outcome variables at baseline and post-intervention will be presented. Measurement outcomes include the Dementia Quality of Life Instrument (DQOL), Approaches to Dementia Questionnaire (ADQ), the Minnesota Job Satisfaction Questionnaire and the Quality of life in Alzheimer’s Disease (QOL-AD). Results for clinical outcome measures including behavioural and psychological symptoms of dementia, cognition, function and medications will also be presented. Conclusion: Optimizing outcomes for people with dementia is complex given the individual and idiosyncratic manifestations of the dementia syndrome. The current research makes a significant contribution by expanding the literature on outcomes research for people with dementia, their nursing home caregivers and families.


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External Author Affiliations

Central Queensland Health Service; Institute for Health and Social Science Research (IHSSR); Institute for Resource Industries and Sustainability (IRIS);

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Australasian journal on ageing.