Satisfaction with Dementia Care

Health care decision-making, medical regimen adherence, and clinical outcomes can be affected by a patient’s care satisfaction. This study examined care satisfaction for dementia patients in Veterans Affairs Medical Centers (VAMCs).The study gathered information on caregiver-rated satisfaction, specifically looking at the degree to which dementia care needs were being met; the rates of satisfaction with different care aspects; and the role needs, veteran cognitive impairment, and sociodemographic factors played in care satisfaction rating.The study participants were enrolled in Partners in Dementia Care (PDC). This telephone-based intervention was administered from 2007 to 2009. Demographic variables examined included: personal care dependency, cognitive impairment, problem behavior, unmet dementia care needs, satisfaction with physician care, and satisfaction with VA care. The study analysis included a total of 457 caregivers.

Key Findings:

  • Greater frequency or severity of problem behaviors was associated with lower caregiver satisfaction with physician care.
  • Higher unmet needs indicated lower caregiver satisfaction with physician care. On average, caregivers reported about 17 unmet dementia care needs.
  • Across the five VAMC sites included in the study, caregiver satisfaction varied significantly.

The authors note that while satisfaction with VAMC physicians and VA care is generally good, it could improve. Improving caregiver satisfaction with dementia care may mean improved health care outcomes for dementia patients.