Background: Persons with dementia spend most time of their day not engaging in activities or social interactions. A care concept of a dementia special care unit that promotes activities and social interaction through a household-like design and individualised stimuli is studied. Aim: To evaluate the main outcomes of the care concept of a dementia special care unit, namely, engagement in activities and social interactions. Methods: We conducted an observational study as part of a theory-driven evaluation. The Maastricht Daily Life Observation Tool was used to collect momentary assessments multiple times per participant, including engagement in activity, type of activity, engagement in social interaction, interaction partners, location, agitation and mood. Thirty-three residents of the dementia special care units that implemented the care concept and 54 residents with dementia of two traditional nursing homes participated in the study, resulting in 2989 momentary assessments. Results: Residents of both settings did not engage in activities or social interaction in approximately half of the observations. Compared to residents of traditional nursing homes, residents of special care units had a significantly higher chance for engagement in activities and social interaction in the afternoon but not in the morning or evening. Conclusion: The care concept of the special care unit facilitated engagement but had its limitations. Further research is needed to develop and evaluate appropriate interventions to enhance engagement of persons with dementia.
ASJC Scopus Sachgebiete
- Öffentliche Gesundheit, Umwelt- und Arbeitsmedizin