Small-scale, homelike facilities versus regular psychogeriatric nursing home wards: a cross-sectional study into residents' characteristics.BMC Health Serv Res. 2010 Jan 29; 10:30.BH
Nursing home care for people with dementia is increasingly organized in small-scale and homelike care settings, in which normal daily life is emphasized. Despite this increase, relatively little is known about residents' characteristics and whether these differ from residents in traditional nursing homes. This study explored and compared characteristics of residents with dementia living in small-scale, homelike facilities and regular psychogeriatric wards in nursing homes, focusing on functional status and cognition.
A cross-sectional study was conducted, including 769 residents with dementia requiring an intensive level of nursing home care: 586 from regular psychogeriatric wards and 183 residents from small-scale living facilities. Functional status and cognition were assessed using two subscales from the Resident Assessment Instrument Minimum Data Set (RAI-MDS): the Activities of Daily Living-Hierarchy scale (ADL-H) and the Cognitive Performance Scale (CPS). In addition, care dependency was measured using Dutch Care Severity Packages (DCSP). Finally, gender, age, living condition prior to admission and length of stay were recorded. Descriptive analyses, including independent samples t- tests and chi-square tests, were used. To analyze data in more detail, multivariate logistic regression analyses were performed.
Residents living in small-scale, homelike facilities had a significantly higher functional status and cognitive performance compared with residents in regular psychogeriatric wards. In addition, they had a shorter length of stay, were less frequently admitted from home and were more often female than residents in regular wards. No differences were found in age and care dependency. While controlling for demographic variables, the association between dementia care setting and functional status and cognition remained.
Although residents require a similar intensive level of nursing home care, their characteristics differ among small-scale living facilities and regular psychogeriatric wards. These differences may limit research into effects and feasibility of various types of dementia care settings. Therefore, these studies should take resident characteristics into account in their design, for example by using a matching procedure.