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2005 Grant - Edelman
Integrating Activity-Focused Quality of Life Assessment into Dementia Care Practice
Perry Edelman, Ph.D.
Mather LifeWays Institute on Aging
2005 Investigator-Initiated Research Grant
Unlike quality of care, which is a measurement of services provided, quality of life (QOL) is a measurement of how well the needs of individuals are met. Assessing QOL in individuals with dementia is difficult because the range of abilities and limitation is varied and a person may not be able to express himself or herself clearly. Therefore, measurements of QOL often need to be activity-focused to provide meaningful data.
Perry Edelman, Ph.D., and colleagues have developed a computerized, observational approach for measuring QOL in patients with dementia known as Observing Quality of Life-Dementia (OQOL-D). The tool is easy to implement and requires minimal staff time to complete. In a pilot study, they demonstrated that the tool enables staff to (1) revise care plans to better meet the needs of individuals, (2) identify specific activities and interests that result in the highest QOL for individuals, (3) provide feedback to families regarding the well-being of residents and (4) assess the impact of existing or new interventions or activities. They anticipate that centers using the OQOL-D tool will find that individuals achieve a higher QOL and that staff and family members will experience greater satisfaction.
To test their hypotheses, Edelman and colleagues will measure the costs and benefits of OQOL-D in a study in eight dementia care settings. They antici-pate their dementia-specific QOL tool will benefit people with Alzheimer's in a wide range of care settings, including nursing homes, assisted-living facilities and adult day care.