• Does awareness of condition help people with mild-to-moderate dementia to live well?

      Alexander, C.M.; Martyr, A.; Gamble, L.D.; Savage, S.A.; Quinn, Catherine; Morris, R.G.; Clare, L. (2021-09-25)
      People living with dementia vary in awareness of their abilities. We explored awareness of the condition and diagnosis in people with mild-to-moderate dementia, and how this relates to quality of life, well-being, life satisfaction, and caregiver stress. This study was a cross-sectional exploratory analysis of data from the IDEAL cohort, which recruited people with dementia living at home and available caregivers from 29 research sites in Great Britain. Our study included 917 people with mild-to-moderate dementia and 755 carers. Low and high awareness groups were derived from self-reported responses to a dementia representation measure. Logistic regression was used to explore predictors of awareness of condition and diagnosis using demographic, cognitive, functional and psychological measures, and the relationship with quality of life, well-being and life satisfaction (‘living well’), and caregiver stress. There were 83 people with low awareness of their condition. The remaining 834 people showed some awareness and 103 of these had high awareness of their condition and diagnosis. Psychosocial factors were stronger predictors of awareness than cognitive and functional ability. Those with higher awareness reported lower mood, and lower scores on indices of living well as well as lower optimism, self-efficacy and self-esteem. Low awareness was more likely in those aged 80y and above, and living in more socially deprived areas. No relationship was seen between caregiver stress and awareness. Awareness of the condition and diagnosis varies in people with mild-to-moderate dementia and is relevant to the capability to live well. Awareness should be considered in person-centered clinical care.
    • Impact of COVID-19 on carers of people with dementia in the community: Findings from the British IDEAL cohort

      Quinn, Catherine; Gamble, L.D.; Parker, S.; Martyr, A.; Collins, R.; Victor, C.; Dawson, E.; Hunt, A.; Pentecost, C.; Allan, L.; et al. (2022-05)
      Unpaid carers for people with dementia play a crucial role in society. Emerging evidence suggests the COVID-19 pandemic has negatively impacted on carers. This study sought to explore the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on carers for community-dwelling people with dementia and compare responses with pre-pandemic data. Data were collected between September 2020 and April 2021 in England and Wales. Carers were identified from the Improving the experience of Dementia and Enhancing Active Life (IDEAL) cohort and data were collected either through the telephone, video conferencing, or an online questionnaire. Responses from 242 carers were compared against benchmark data from the IDEAL cohort collected pre-pandemic. Analyses were conducted for the full sample of carers and spousal/partner carers only. In total 48.8% of carers thought their healthcare needs were negatively affected during the pandemic. Compared with pre-pandemic data carers were more lonely and experienced less life satisfaction. There was little impact on carers' experience of caregiving, although carers felt trapped in their caregiving role. Carers were more optimistic and had higher social contact with relatives. There were changes in the methods carers used for contacting relatives and friends. Most carers coped very or fairly well during the pandemic. There was little difference in the experiences of spousal/partner carers and the full sample. After a long period of providing care under pandemic conditions carers require additional support. This support needs to be focused on alleviating feelings of loneliness and increasing life satisfaction. Services need to consider how to improve access to health care, particularly resuming face-to-face appointments.
    • Impact of COVID-19 on ‘living well’ with mild-to-moderate dementia in the community: findings from the IDEAL cohort

      Clare, L.; Martyr, A.; Gamble, L.D.; Pentecost, C.; Collins, R.; Dawson, E.; Hunt, A.; Parker, S.; Allan, L.; Burns, A.; et al. (2022)
      Background. Negative impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on people with dementia have been widely-documented, but most studies have relied on carer reports and few have compared responses to information collected before the pandemic. Objective. We aimed to explore the impact of the pandemic on community-dwelling individuals with mild-to-moderate dementia and compare responses with pre-pandemic data. Methods. During the second wave of the pandemic we conducted structured telephone interviews with 173 people with dementia and 242 carers acting as informants, all of whom had previously participated in the IDEAL cohort. Where possible we benchmarked responses against pre-pandemic data. Results. Significant perceived negative impacts were identified in cognitive and functional skills and ability to engage in self-care and manage everyday activities, along with increased levels of loneliness and discontinuity in sense of self and a decline in perceived capability to ‘live well’. Compared to pre-pandemic data there were lower levels of pain, depression and anxiety, higher levels of optimism, and better satisfaction with family support. There was little impact on physical health, mood, social connections and relationships, or perceptions of neighbourhood characteristics. Conclusion. Efforts to mitigate negative impacts of pandemic-related restrictions and restore quality of life could focus on reablement to address the effects on participation in everyday activities, creating opportunities for social contact to reduce loneliness, and personalised planning to reconnect people with their pre-COVID selves. Such efforts may build on the resilience demonstrated by people with dementia and carers in coping with the pandemic.
    • Longitudinal trajectories of quality of life among people with mild-to-moderate dementia: a latent growth model approach with IDEAL cohort study data

      Clare, L.; Gamble, L.D.; Martyr, A.; Sabatini, S.; Nelis, S.M.; Quinn, Catherine; Pentecost, C.; Victor, C.; Jones, R.W.; Jones, I.R.; et al. (2022)
      Objectives: We aimed to examine change over time in self-rated quality of life (QoL) in people with mild-to-moderate dementia and identify sub-groups with distinct QoL trajectories. Method: We used data from people with mild-to-moderate dementia followed up at 12 and 24 months in the IDEAL cohort study (baseline n=1537). A latent growth model approach examined mean change over time in QoL, assessed with the QoL-AD scale, and investigated associations of baseline demographic, cognitive and psychological covariates with the intercept and slope of QoL. We employed growth mixture modelling to identify multiple growth trajectories. Results: Overall mean QoL scores were stable and no associations with change over time were observed. Four classes of QoL trajectories were identified: two with higher baseline QoL scores, labelled Stable (74.9%) and Declining (7.6%), and two with lower baseline QoL scores, labelled Stable Lower (13.7%) and Improving (3.8%). The Declining class had higher baseline levels of depression and loneliness, and lower levels of self-esteem and optimism, than the Stable class. The Stable Lower class was characterised by disadvantage related to social structure, poor physical health, functional disability, and low psychological well-being The Improving class was similar to the Stable Lower class but had lower cognitive test scores. Discussion: Understanding individual trajectories can contribute to personalised care planning. Efforts to prevent decline in perceived QoL should primarily target psychological well-being. Efforts to improve QoL for those with poorer QoL should additionally address functional impairment, isolation, and disadvantage related to social structure.
    • Minimal Impact of COVID-19 Pandemic on the Mental Health and Wellbeing of People Living With Dementia Analysis of Matched Longitudinal Data From the IDEAL Study

      Sabatini, S.; Bennett, H.Q.; Martyr, A.; Collins, R.; Gamble, L.D.; Matthews, F.E.; Pentecost, C.; Dawson, E.; Hunt, A.; Parker, S.; et al. (2022-03-09)
      Objective: Research suggests a decline in the mental health and wellbeing of people with dementia (PwD) during the COVID-19 pandemic; however few studies have compared data collected pre-pandemic and during the pandemic. Moreover, none have compared this change with what would be expected due to dementia progression. We explored whether PwD experienced changes in mental health and wellbeing by comparing pre-pandemic and pandemic data, and drew comparisons with another group of PwD questioned on two occasions prior to the pandemic. Methods: Community-dwelling PwD enrolled in the IDEAL programme were split into two groups matched for age group, sex, dementia diagnosis, and time since diagnosis. Although each group was assessed twice, one was assessed prior to and during the pandemic (pandemic group; n = 115) whereas the other was assessed prior to the pandemic (pre-pandemic group; n = 230). PwD completed measures of mood, sense of self, wellbeing, optimism, quality of life, and life satisfaction. Results: Compared to the pre-pandemic group, the pandemic group were less likely to report mood problems, or be pessimistic, but more likely to become dissatisfied with their lives. There were no changes in continuity in sense of self, wellbeing, and quality of life. Discussion: Results suggest the pandemic had little effect on the mental health and wellbeing of PwD, with any changes observed likely to be consistent with expected rates of decline due to dementia. Although personal accounts attest to the challenges experienced, PwD appear to have been resilient to the impact of lockdown and social restrictions during the pandemic.
    • Psychological processes in adapting to dementia: illness representations among the IDEAL cohort

      Clare, L.; Gamble, L.D.; Martyr, A.; Quinn, Catherine; Litherland, R.; Morris, R.G.; Jones, I.R.; Matthews, F.E. (2022)
      How people understand and adapt to living with dementia may influence well-being. Leventhal’s Common Sense Model (CSM) of Self-Regulation provides a theoretical basis for exploring this process. We used cross-sectional and longitudinal data from 1,109 people with mild-to-moderate dementia in the Improving the experience of Dementia and Enhancing Active Life (IDEAL) cohort. We elicited dementia representations (DRs) using the Representations and Adjustment to Dementia Index (RADIX), a validated measure based on the CSM, identified groups sharing distinct DR profiles, and explored predictors of group membership and associations with well-being, and whether problem-focused coping played a mediating role in these associations. We identified four DR classes: people who see the condition as a disease and adopt a diagnostic label; people who see the condition as a disease but refer to symptoms rather than a diagnostic label; those who see the condition as part of aging; and those who are unsure how to make sense of the condition. A fifth group did not acknowledge any difficulties. “Disease” representations were associated with better cognition and younger age, while “aging” and “no problem” representations were associated with better mood and well-being. The association with well-being remained stable over 24 months. There was limited partial support for a mediating role of problem-focused coping. Variations in DRs may reflect individual differences in the psychological processes involved in adjusting to dementia. DRs provide a framework for personalizing and tailoring both communications about dementia and interventions aimed at supporting people in coping with dementia. There is a need to debate what constitutes a positive DR and how its development might be encouraged.
    • The use and costs of paid and unpaid care for people with dementia longitudinal findings from the IDEAL cohort programme

      Henderson, C.; Knapp, M.; Martyr, A.; Gamble, L.D.; Nelis, S.M.; Quinn, Catherine; Pentecost, C.; Collins, R.; Wu, Y.-T.; Jones, I.R.; et al. (2022-03-08)
      The drivers of costs of care for people with dementia are not well understood and little is known on the costs of care for those with rarer dementias. Objective: To characterise use and costs of paid and unpaid care over time in a cohort of people with dementia living in Britain. To explore the relationship between cohort members’ demographic and clinical characteristics and service costs. Methods: We calculated costs of health and social services, unpaid care, and out-of-pocket expenditure for people with mild-to-moderate dementia participating in three waves of the IDEAL cohort (2014-2018). Latent growth curve modelling investigated associations between participants’ baseline sociodemographic and diagnostic characteristics and mean weekly service costs. Results: Data were available on use of paid and unpaid care by 1537 community-dwelling participants with dementia at Wave 1, 1199 at Wave 2, and 910 at Wave 3. In models of paid service costs, being female was associated with lower baseline costs and living alone was associated with higher baseline costs. Dementia subtype and caregiver status were associated with variations in baseline costs and the rate of change in costs, which was additionally influenced by age. Conclusion: Lewy body and Parkinson's disease dementias were associated with higher service costs at the outset, and Lewy body and frontotemporal dementias with more steeply increasing costs overall, than Alzheimer’s disease. Planners of dementia services should consider the needs of people with these relatively rare dementia subtypes as they may require more resources than people with more prevalent subtypes.