What Makes Institutional Long-Term Care the Most Appropriate Setting for People With Dementia? Exploring the Influence of Client Characteristics, Decision-Maker Attributes, and Country in 8 European Nations

RightTimePlaceCare Consortium, Jan Hamers, Hanneke Beerens, Michel Bleijlevens, Sandra Zwakhalen, Dirk Ruwaard, Antonius Ambergen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Objectives: To explore the extent to which client characteristics, decision-maker attributes, and country influence judgments of institutional long-term care (ILTC) appropriateness for people with dementia. Design, setting, and participants: A total of 161 experts in dementia care from 8 European countries reviewed a series of 14 vignettes representing people with dementia on the cusp of ILTC admission and indicated the most appropriate setting in which to support each case in a simple discrete choice exercise: own home, very sheltered housing, residential home, or nursing home. At least 16 experts participated in each country (Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom). Measurements: Descriptive statistics were used to characterize the experts and their placement preferences. Logistic regression modeling was used to explore the extent to which the sociodemographic and clinical characteristics of people with dementia, and the profession, workplace, and country of decision-makers were associated with ILTC recommendation. Results: Client characteristics, decision-maker attributes, and country all seemed to play a part in influencing professionals' perceptions of the appropriateness of ILTC for people with dementia. Expert decision-makers were more likely to recommend ILTC for individuals who required help with mobility or had multiple care needs, and appeared to give more weight to carers' than clients' wishes. Community-based social workers were less likely than other professional groups to favor ILTC placement. Experts in Finland, Germany, and the United Kingdom were less likely to recommend ILTC than experts in France, the Netherlands, and Estonia; experts in Sweden and Spain took an intermediate position. Conclusion: This study provides new understanding of the factors that shape professionals' perceptions of ILTC appropriateness and highlights the need to construct multifaceted models of institutionalization when planning services for people with dementia. It also has several important clinical implications (including flagging interventions that could decrease the need for ILTC), and provides a basis for enhancing professionals' decision-making capabilities (including the greater involvement of clients themselves).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)465.e9-465.e15
JournalJournal of the American Medical Directors Association
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2016


  • Dementia
  • institutionalization
  • long-term care
  • care home placement
  • decision-making

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