Psychosocial interventions and quality of life for people with dementia living in care homes
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Background: Dementia is a major cause of disability and dependency among the older population and one of the most prevalent psychiatric disorders among people in care homes. Neuropsychiatric symptoms (NPS) are common with the progression of dementia and the subsequent treatment with psychiatric medications can have serious side effects, including increased mortality rate and poor quality of life (QOL). Psychosocial interventions have been recommended as preferable options. Inquiring and facilitating the QOL for people with dementia is an important goal in dementia care. Aim: To find out what the relationship is between psychosocial interventions and quality of life for people with dementia in care homes. Method: Scoping review. A systematic search was conducted in CINAHL, Ovid, PubMed and Scopus from November 25th, 2018 to January 15th, 2019. Eleven studies were found eligible and analyzed. These studies measured QOL in care home residents with dementia after the implementation of one or more psychosocial interventions. Results: Findings show that psychosocial interventions include a wide range of interventions, all with the ability to improve QOL for people with dementia in care homes. Simple nursing tasks, domestic chores and self-care are interventions that tend to be overlooked by care staff. Lack of knowledge about dementia, people with dementia and psychosocial interventions lead to the underuse of interventions. Tailor-made interventions that promote personhood and respect the interests and abilities of the person with dementia have the largest impact on QOL. Conclusion: There is a need for care staff to recognize simple tasks like domestic chores and self-care as viable psychosocial interventions with the potential to improve the quality of life for people with dementia in care homes. Tailor-made interventions that respect personhood should be encouraged.