Assessing Determinants of Perceived Quality in Transitions for People with Dementia: a Prospective Observational Study

Neil Drummond, Lynn McCleary, Linda Garcia, Katherine McGilton, Frank Molnar, William Dalziel, Tracy Jing Xu, Diana Turner, Jean Triscott, Elizabeth Freiheit



The trajectory of dementia through time is characterized by common transitions which are difficult for persons with dementia (PWDs) and their families and friends. Our study sought to identify determinants for the quality of transition outcomes.


A 24-month, prospective, longitudinal design identified specific transitions as they occurred in 108 person-with-dementia/caregiver dyads, and assessed the perceived transition quality from the perspective of the caregiver and what we denote as the ‘summative’ transition quality outcome variable (as explained in the Data Processing section under Methods).


Among caregivers and during the authors’ deliberations of the summative transition quality outcomes, good transition quality was associated with the PWD’s baseline Disability Assessment for Dementia (OR 1.04, 95% CI 1.02-1.06 per increase in percent score based on summative assessments), and with the PWD’s higher baseline quality of life scores (OR 1.11, 95% CI 1.05-1.18 per increase in unit of score in QOL-AD based on summative assessments). Caregiver-perceived better outcome quality was associated with lower caregiver burden, (OR 0.97, 95% CI 0.95-0.99 per unit CBI score increase).


Identifying determinants of successful transitions is feasible and may be translated into practical guidance for use in clinical encounters. Those with worse prior quality of life or worse performance in activities of daily living appear to require specific support during transitions, as do those whose caregivers report higher levels of burden.


aged care; quality of life (QoL); dementia; carers; primary care

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ISSN: 1925-8348 (Online)