The Determinants of Quality of Life of Nursing Home Residents with Young-Onset Dementia and the Differences between Dementia Subtypes

Britt Appelhof, Christian Bakker, Jeannette C.L. Van Duinen-Van Den Ijssel, Sandra A. Zwijsen, Martin Smalbrugge, Frans R.J. Verhey, Marjolein E. De Vugt, Sytse U. Zuidema, Raymond T.C.M. Koopmans

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

31 Citations (Scopus)


Aims: The aims of this study are to (1) explore the determinants of quality of life (QoL) in nursing home residents with young-onset dementia (YOD), (2) investigate whether there are differences between dementia subtypes (Alzheimer dementia, vascular/mixed dementia, frontotemporal dementia, other) regarding these determinants, and (3) compare QoL profiles of YOD nursing home residents across dementia subtypes. Methods: This cross-sectional study included 207 nursing home residents. Multilevel modeling was used to determine the relationships between QoL and neuropsychiatric symptoms (NPS), dementia severity, psychotropic drug use (PDU), dementia subtype, age, and gender. Additional multilevel models were used to compare aspects of QoL between dementia subtypes. Results: Residents' QoL was negatively associated with advanced dementia, PDU, and NPS. In general, the relationships between the determinants and QoL were similar across the dementia subtypes. Aspects of QoL differed by dementia subtype. Residents with frontotemporal dementia showed less negative emotions, accepted more help and experienced better quality of relationships with professional caregivers, had a more positive self-image, felt more comfortable in the nursing home environment, and experienced lower quality of social relationships. Conclusions: Considering the high rates of NPS and PDU in YOD residents and their negative associations with QoL, we recommend emphasizing services to manage and reduce NPS and PDU in nursing home residents with YOD. Furthermore, our findings suggest accounting for differences in aspects of QoL by dementia subtype to address specific needs and thereby improve QoL.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)320-329
Number of pages10
JournalDementia and geriatric cognitive disorders
Issue number5-6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2017


  • Neuropsychiatric symptoms
  • Nursing home
  • Psychotropic drugs
  • Quality of life
  • Young-onset dementia

Cite this