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Dementia care mapping: effects on residents’ quality of life and challenging behavior in German nursing homes. A quasi-experimental trial

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  03 July 2015

Martin Nikolaus Dichter*
German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE), Witten, Germany School of Nursing Science, Faculty of Health, Witten/Herdecke University, Witten, Germany
Tina Quasdorf
German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE), Witten, Germany School of Nursing Science, Faculty of Health, Witten/Herdecke University, Witten, Germany
Christian Günter Georg Schwab
German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE), Witten, Germany School of Nursing Science, Faculty of Health, Witten/Herdecke University, Witten, Germany
Diana Trutschel
German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE), Witten, Germany School of Nursing Science, Faculty of Health, Witten/Herdecke University, Witten, Germany Institute of Computer Science, Martin-Luther-University Halle-Wittenberg, Halle, Germany
Burkhard Haastert
mediStatistica, Neuenrade, Germany
Christine Riesner
German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE), Witten, Germany School of Nursing Science, Faculty of Health, Witten/Herdecke University, Witten, Germany Division “Nursing Science and Pedagogics” Ministry of Health, Equalities, Care and Ageing of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia, Düsseldorf, Germany
Sabine Bartholomeyczik
School of Nursing Science, Faculty of Health, Witten/Herdecke University, Witten, Germany
Margareta Halek
German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE), Witten, Germany School of Nursing Science, Faculty of Health, Witten/Herdecke University, Witten, Germany
Correspondence should be addressed to: Martin Nikolaus Dichter, German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE), Witten, Germany. Phone: +49 2302 926 253; Fax: +49 2302 926 239. Email:



Person-centered care (PCC) is a widely recognized concept in dementia research and care. Dementia Care Mapping (DCM) is a method for implementing PCC. Prior studies have yielded heterogeneous results regarding the effectiveness of DCM for people with dementia (PwD). We aimed to investigate the effectiveness of DCM with regard to quality of life (QoL) and challenging behavior in PwD in nursing homes (NHs).


Leben-QD II is an 18-month, three-armed, pragmatic quasi-experimental trial. The sample of PwD was divided into three groups with three living units per group: (A) DCM applied since 2009, (B) DCM newly introduced during the study, and (C) a control intervention based on a regular and standardized QoL rating. The primary outcome was QoL measured with the Quality of Life-Alzheimer's Disease (QoL-AD) proxy, and the secondary outcomes were QoL (measured with QUALIDEM) and challenging behavior (measured with the Neuropsychiatric Inventory Nursing Home version, NPI-NH).


There were no significant differences either between the DCM intervention groups and the control group or between the two DCM intervention groups regarding changes in the primary or secondary outcomes. At baseline, the estimated least square means of the QoL-AD proxy for groups A, B, and C were 32.54 (confidence interval, hereafter CI: 29.36–35.72), 33.62 (CI: 30.55–36.68), and 30.50 (CI: 27.47–33.52), respectively. The DCM groups A (31.32; CI: 28.15–34.48) and B (27.60; CI: 24.51–30.69) exhibited a reduction in QoL values, whereas group C exhibited an increase (32.54; CI: 29.44–35.64) after T2.


DCM exhibited no statistically significant effect in terms of QoL and challenging behavior of PwD in NHs. To increase the likelihood of a positive effect for PwD, it is necessary to ensure successful implementation of the intervention.

Research Article
Copyright © International Psychogeriatric Association 2015 

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