Pathways through Care - The association between municipal health services and disease course in dementia
Alzheimer's disease & other dementias
Dementia is a chronic progressive disorder which causes gradual loss of functioning. The increasing number of persons with dementia is one of the main challenges for the health care system. There exists no curative treatment for dementia, but a careful pl anning of the provision of care may affect the disease course and relieve some of the distress to the person with dementia and their carers. The knowledge about how organisational and individual factors affect disease course is limited. This project inclu des persons at admission to the nursing home. Data on disease course before admission are collected retrospectively and the participants are followed with regular assessments over a three-year period. In addition to clinical measures on an individual lev el a thorough assessment of organisational factors in the municipalities will be performed. This information will be collected through public statistics, direct observation and interviews with leaders or decision makers and health care workers. The projec t will be able to estimate the respective contribution of individual and organisational factors in determining the pathway through care and the disease course of persons with dementia. The substantial data collection has started and is financed through pr ograms initiated by the Norwegian Health Directorate and Innlandet Hospital Trust. The present application focuses on analyses of disease course in terms of level of functioning, mortality and quality of life as well as transitions between levels of care as outcome variables. The planning of the project is done in cooperation with representatives of the users of the care system and decision makers in the municipality, securing the inclusion of relevant variables in the analysis. The results will add sign ificantly to the international knowledge base and give health care providers valuable information in order to allocate resources in order to give maximum benefit for the user.