Objective: To explore the course of quality of life (QoL) and possible resident-related predictors associated with this course in institutionalized people with young-onset dementia (YOD). Design: An observational longitudinal study. Setting and Participants: A total of 278 residents with YOD were recruited from 13 YOD special care units in the Netherlands. Methods: Secondary analyses were conducted with longitudinal data from the Behavior and Evolution in Young-ONset Dementia (BEYOND)-II study. QoL was assessed with proxy ratings, using the Quality of Life in Dementia (QUALIDEM) questionnaire at 4 assessment points over 18 months. Predictors included age, gender, dementia subtype, length of stay, dementia severity, neuropsychiatric symptoms, and psychotropic drug use at baseline. Multilevel modeling was used to adjust for the correlation of measurements within residents and clustering of residents within nursing homes. Results: The total QUALIDEM score (range: 0-111) decreased over 18 months with a small change of 0.65 (95% confidence interval −1.27, −0.04) points per 6 months. An increase in several domains of QoL regarding care relationship, positive self-image, and feeling at home was seen over time, whereas a decline was observed in the subscales positive affect, social relations, and having something to do. Residents with higher levels of QoL and more advanced dementia at baseline showed a more progressive decline in QoL over time. Sensitivity analyses indicated a more progressive decline in QoL for residents who died during the follow-up. Conclusion and Implications: This study shows that although overall QoL in nursing home residents with YOD was relatively stable over 18 months, there were multidirectional changes in the QoL subscales that could be clinically relevant. Higher levels of QoL and more advanced stages of dementia at baseline predicted a more progressive decline in QoL over time. More longitudinal studies are needed to verify factors influencing QoL in YOD.
|Journal||Journal of the American Medical Directors Association|
|Publication status||Accepted/In press - 2020|