Trends in quality of care and dying perceived by family caregivers of nursing home residents with dementia 2005–2019

Maartje S. Klapwijk, Sascha R. Bolt, Jannie A. Boogaard, Maud ten Koppel, Marie-José H. E. Gijsberts, Carolien van Leussen, B. Anne-Mei The, Judith M. M. Meijers, Jos M. GA Schols, H. Roeline W. Pasman, Bregje D. Onwuteaka-Philipsen, Luc Deliens, Lieve van den Block, Bart Mertens, Henrica C. W. de Vet, Monique A. A. Caljouw, Wilco P. Achterberg, Jenny van der Steen

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Background: Dementia palliative care is increasingly subject of research and practice improvement initiatives. Aim: To assess any changes over time in the evaluation of quality of care and quality of dying with dementia by family caregivers. Design: Combined analysis of eight studies with bereaved family caregivers’ evaluations 2005–2019. Setting/participants: Family caregivers of nursing home residents with dementia in the Netherlands (n = 1189) completed the End-of-Life in Dementia Satisfaction With Care (EOLD-SWC; quality of care) and Comfort Assessment in Dying (EOLD-CAD, four subscales; quality of dying) instruments. Changes in scores over time were analysed using mixed models with random effects for season and facility and adjustment for demographics, prospective design and urbanised region. Results: The mean total EOLD-SWC score was 33.40 (SD 5.08) and increased by 0.148 points per year (95% CI, 0.052–0.244; adjusted 0.170 points 95% CI, 0.055–0.258). The mean total EOLD-CAD score was 30.80 (SD 5.76) and, unadjusted, there was a trend of decreasing quality of dying over time of −0.175 points (95% CI, −0.291 to −0.058) per year increment. With adjustment, the trend was not significant (−0.070 EOLD-CAD total score points, 95% CI, −0.205 to 0.065) and only the EOLD-CAD subscale ‘Well being’ decreased. Conclusion: We identified divergent trends over 14 years of increased quality of care, while quality of dying did not increase and well-being in dying decreased. Further research is needed on what well-being in dying means to family. Quality improvement requires continued efforts to treat symptoms in dying with dementia.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1951-1960
Number of pages10
JournalPalliative medicine
Issue number10
Early online date2021
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2021


  • Dementia
  • end-of-life care
  • geriatrics
  • nursing homes
  • palliative care
  • quality of health care

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