• Dementia Care Mapping as a research instrument.

      Sloane, P.; Brooker, Dawn J.R.; Cohen, L.; Douglass, C.; Edelman, P.; Fulton, B.R.; Jarrott, S. (2006)
      Introduction Dementia Care Mapping (DCM) was originally developed as a clinical tool but has attracted interest as a potential observational measure of quality of life (QOL) and well-being of long-term care residents with dementia. DCM coding involves continuous observation over a 6-h period, with observers recording a Behavior Category Code (BCC, a recording of activity/interaction) and a Well/Ill Being (WIB) score at 5 min intervals. Method Descriptive data from several different research teams on the distribution and psychometric properties of DCM data were compiled and summarized. Results Issues and problems identified include: complex scoring algorithms, inter-rater reliability of the BCCs, limited variability of WIB values, associations between resident characteristics and DCM assessments, rater time burden, and comparability of results across study settings. Conclusions Despite the identified limitations, DCM has promise as a research measure, as it may come closer to rating QOL from the perspective of persons with dementia than other available measures. Its utility will depend on the manner in which it is applied and an appreciation of the measure's strength and limitations. Possible changes that might improve the reliability, validity, and practicality of DCM as a research tool include coding the predominant event (rather than the best event), shortening the observation period, and adding 0 as a neutral WIB coding option.