IPOS-Dem measure for use in care homes

5th December 2016

Researchers at the Cicely Saunders Institute have developed a measure, called the IPOS-Dem measure, to support systematic assessment of people with dementia in long-term care (care homes).

Long-term care residents with dementia have a high symptom burden.  Furthermore these symptoms impact on quality of life.  Measurement tools can support assessment of symptoms  but are not widely used in long-term care settings. So researchers at the Cicely Saunders Institute have developed the Integrated Palliative care Outcome Scale for Dementia (IPOS-Dem).  This has been derived from the Palliative care Outcome Scale, Palliative care Outcome Scale–Symptom and Integrated Palliative care Outcome Scale.

 

How did the research team carry out this research?

Researchers used focus groups, semi-structured interviews and cognitive interviews to find out if the measure tool could be used successfully in long-term care settings for people with dementia.

Researchers carried out the study in three residential long-term care settings in London, UK. Focus group and semi-structured interview participants included caregiver staff, family, general practitioners and district nurses.

 

What did these results show?

Researchers found additional symptoms and problems.  These included agitation, wandering, sleep problems, communication problems and diarrhoea. Also, researchers showed that refinements or lay terms were required to improve comprehension and consistency of response for nausea, drowsiness, delusions/hallucinations, agitation, loss of interest, communication problems and interaction. A video was needed to support comprehension of instructions and assessment of verbally compromised residents.

 

Researchers found that the Integrated Palliative care Outcome Scale for Dementia (IPOS-Dem measure)  is a comprehensive and acceptable caregiver-reported measure to detect symptoms and problems in dementia. Furthermore it is suitable for caregiver staff without professional training.  It has been refined and tailored to maximise caregiver expertise, ready for further psychometric testing.

 

Publication details: 

Ellis-Smith C, Evans CJ, Murtagh FE, Henson LA, Firth AM, Higginson IJ, Daveson BA. Development of a caregiver-reported measure to support systematic assessment of people with dementia in long-term care: The Integrated Palliative care Outcome Scale for Dementia. Palliat Med, first published on October 25, 2016 doi:10.1177/0269216316675096.