A literature review of dementia care mapping: methodological considerations and efficacy

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Beavis, D, Simpson, S & Graham, IW 2002, 'A literature review of dementia care mapping: methodological considerations and efficacy', Journal of Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing, vol. 9, no. 6, pp. 725-736.

The publisher's version of this article is available at http://dx.doi.org/10.1046/j.1365-2850.2002.00508.x

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Dementia care mapping (DCM) is a popular method for evaluating the quality of care and well-being of people with dementia in formal care settings. Keywords and thesaurus searches were conducted between 1992 and June 2001 using a range of bibliographic databases. Studies that had specifically examined the efficacy of DCM or, had used DCM as the main outcome measure, were included in the review. Nine studies met the inclusion criteria and were evaluated in this review. The review highlights some methodological limitations in the DCM studies to date, including sampling bias, inadequate sample size, short evaluation periods and a lack of consideration of the confounding variables commonly associated with dementia. The evidence presented for DCM suggests that it has good face validity and reliability. However, other aspects of validity remain less convincing and it can only be regarded as a moderately valid instrument. Whilst its theoretical background makes DCM particularly appealing to nurses wishing to improve the quality of their care, it is a very time-consuming method and requires considerable investment in terms of nursing resources. Consequently, it is essential that more scientifically based studies are conducted to enable other aspects of validity to be developed, thus enhancing the value of DCM as an outcome measure of nursing care.

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