Impact of person-centred care training and person-centred activities on quality of life, agitation, and antipsychotic use in people with dementia living in nursing homes

Researchers from the University of Exeter in conjunction with King’s College London and Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust aimed to  evaluate the efficacy of  person-centred care and psychosocial intervention incorporating an antipsychotic review on 800 patients with dementia. 

The study  tested the WHELD programme, (Improving Wellbeing and Health for People with Dementia), the largest non-pharmacological randomised control trial in people with dementia living in care homes to date.

  • The programme combined staff training, social interaction, and guidance on use of antipsychotic medications, in 69 UK care homes  in a 9-month clinical trial.
  • It demonstrates that care homes receiving the WHELD programme saw improvements in quality of life as well as other important symptoms including agitation, behaviour, and pain in people with dementia.
  • For the care homes in the study, the WHELD programme was also shown to be cost-effective

The key findings include:

  • The WHELD approach is beneficial for people with dementia living in care homes.
  • WHELD could be provided in an affordable way to improve the lives of these individuals, who often do not receive the care they need.
  • They also suggest suggest that the WHELD intervention confers benefits in terms of  quality of life (QoL), agitation, and neuropsychiatric symptoms, albeit with relatively small effect sizes,

The full text article can be accessed through the PLOS Medicine website

Download it from PLOS here 

The full story is at Science Daily 

Specialist geriatric medicine ward for older patients with dementia

The objective of this study is to clarify if admission to a specialist geriatric medicine ward leads to improvements in aspects of acute medical care for patients with dementia.


We analysed combined data involving 900 patients from the Irish and Northern Irish audits of dementia care. Data on baseline demographics, admission outcomes, clinical aspects of care, multidisciplinary assessment and discharge planning processes were collected.

Relatively low numbers of patients with dementia received care on a specialist geriatric medicine ward. There appears to be a more streamlined discharge planning process in place on these wards, but they did not perform as well as one would expect in certain areas, such as compliance with multidisciplinary assessment and antipsychotic prescribing

Full reference: Briggs, R. et al. (2017) Does admission to a specialist geriatric medicine ward lead to improvements in aspects of acute medical care for older patients with dementia? International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry. 32(6) pp. 624–632


Perceptions vs. evidence:therapeutic substitutes for antipsychotics

Olivieri-Mui, B.L. et al. Aging & Mental Health. Published online: 12 Jan 2017


Objective: To compare differences between clinician perceptions of therapeutic substitutes for antipsychotics prescribed to patients with dementia in long term care (LTC) and published evidence.


Conclusion: Perceptions of LTC clinicians regarding substitutes for antipsychotics in LTC patients with dementia vary widely and are often discordant with published evidence.

Read the full abstract here