A Family Booklet About Comfort Care in Advanced Dementia: Three-Country Evaluation

J.T. van der Steen, M. Arcand, F. Toscani, T. de Graas, S. Finetti, M. Beaulieu, K. Brazil, M. Nakanishi, T. Nakashima, D.L. Knol, C.M.P.M. Hertogh

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28 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives: To evaluate a booklet on comfort care in dementia from the perspective of family with relevant experience, and assess nursing home resident and family factors associated with evaluations. Design: Retrospective study. Setting: Long term care facilities in French-speaking Canada, and the Netherlands and Italy.
Participants: Bereaved family (n = 138).
Measurements: An 8-item scale assessed the booklet's acceptability. Usefulness was rated on a 0 to 10 scale, and perceived usefulness referred to usefulness if family had had the booklet during the resident's stay. Families indicated preferred ways of obtaining, and the most appropriate time to get the booklet.
Results: Almost all families (94%) perceived the booklet as useful. Canadian and Dutch families evaluated the booklet's contents and format favorably, whereas Italian families' evaluations were less favorable. Almost all families endorsed roles for physicians or nurses and about half additionally accepted availability through own initiative, in print or through the Internet. Preference of timing was highly variable. Better acceptability, usefulness, and availability through own initiative were independently associated with non-Italian nationality, presence of more physical signs discussed in the booklet, feeling ill-prepared, and higher satisfaction with care. A preference of receiving the booklet early was more likely in Italian families, those without university education, and those involved with older residents.
Conclusion: The booklet is suitable to inform Dutch and Canadian families on comfort care in dementia, but implementation in Italy requires further consideration. The booklet may be integrated in advance care planning in long term care, and made available outside long term care settings to serve families who wish to be informed early.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)368-375
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of the American Medical Directors Association
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - May 2012

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