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Quality of life in people with dementia living in nursing homes: validation of an eight-item version of the QUALIDEM for intensive longitudinal assessment

Junge, Stefan; Gellert, Paul; O’Sullivan, Julie Lorraine; Möller, Sebastian; Voigt-Antons, Jan-Niklas; Kuhlmey, Adelheid; Nordheim, Johanna

Purpose: Our aim was to examine whether quality of life which was repeatedly assessed over time is related with the comprehensive assessment of quality of life (QoL) and thereby to validate a brief QoL assessment. Method: This longitudinal study used a comprehensive assessment of quality of life at baseline (QUALIDEM; 37 items) to validate an eight-item version of QUALIDEM to assess momentary quality of life which was repeatedly administered using a tablet device after baseline. In all, 150 people with dementia from 10 long-term facilities participated. Momentary quality of life and comprehensive quality of life, age, gender, activities of daily living (Barthel Index), Functional assessment staging (FAST), and Geriatric Depression (GDS) have been assessed. Results: Comprehensive and momentary quality of life showed good internal consistency with Cronbach’s alpha of .86 and .88 to .93, respectively. For multiple associations of momentary quality of life with the comprehensive quality of life, momentary quality of life was significantly related to comprehensive quality of life (B = .14, CI .08/.20) and GDS (B = − .13, CI − .19/− .06). More specifically, the comprehensive QUALIDEM subscales ‘positive affect’, ‘negative affect’, ‘restlessness’, and ‘social relationships’ showed significant positive associations with momentary quality of life (p < .001). Conclusion: We found that momentary quality of life, reliably assessed by tablet, was associated with comprehensive measures of quality of life and depressive symptoms in people with dementia. Broader use of tablet-based assessments within frequent QoL measurements may enhance time management of nursing staff and may improve the care quality and communication between staff and people with dementia.
Published in: Quality of Life Research, 10.1007/s11136-020-02418-4, Springer