Interventions to improve end-of-life care in dementia

Review objective: To determine the effectiveness of interventions to improve end-of-life care for people with dementia. For the purposes of this review, end-of-life care is defined as the care required when death is imminent for those with advanced dementia and for those with dementia of any severity who are in the terminal phase of an acute chronic illness. Although some support the view that end-of-life care focuses on the days and hours before death (Lunney et al., 2003), this is not necessarily appropriate for patients with dementia, as prognostication for patients with dementia is more difficult than for other terminal illnesses and end-stage dementia can last much longer (Allen et al., 2003). It is timely to synthesise the evidence available on the impact of different interventions on end-of-life care for people with dementia, their families and their carers, to help inform clinical decisions and health care policy on end-of-life care for this population. A systematic review is required to more accurately gauge which care interventions have a positive impact, to identify variables that may moderate their effects, and to identify outcomes for which there is currently an evidence gap in terms of appropriate care practices. The review will also help to focus on optimal care settings for people with dementia in need of end-of-life care.

Award Date
29 September 2013
Award Value
Principal Investigator
Ms Edel Murphy
Host Institution
National University of Ireland, Galway
Cochrane Training Fellowships