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Measuring the well-being of people with dementia : a conceptual scoping review

Clarke, Chris; Woods, Bob; Moniz-Cook, Esme; Mountain, Gail; Øksnebjerg, Laila; Chattat, Rabih; Diaz, Ana; Gove, Dianne; Vernooij-Dassen, Myrra; Wolverson, Emma


Bob Woods

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Professor Esme Moniz-Cook
Emeritus Professor of Clinical Psychology of Ageing and Dementia Care Research / Dementia Research Work Group Lead

Gail Mountain

Laila Øksnebjerg

Rabih Chattat

Ana Diaz

Dianne Gove

Myrra Vernooij-Dassen

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Dr Emma Wolverson
Reader in Ageing and Dementia. Research Lead for Dementia UK.


Background: Enabling people with dementia to ‘live well’ is a policy and research priority in many countries. However, instruments for measuring outcomes of psychosocial interventions designed to promote well-being in dementia are often derived from a symptom-focused, loss/deficit approach, or from broad quality of life concepts. A pan-European dementia working group called for research on the development of an alternative asset/strengths-based conceptual framework of well-being in dementia. This paper takes forward this recommendation by developing such a framework and using this to map relevant self-report outcome measures.
Methods: Three scoping reviews of published studies were conducted iteratively. First, we examined the literature on lived experiences of well-being and quality of life in people with dementia and then the wider dementia literature for application of well-being constructs. The synthesised findings generated conceptual domains of well-being in people with dementia. Corresponding self-report instruments used in dementia research were scoped, categorised within the conceptual framework and their potential value in measuring outcomes for people with dementia was then examined.
Findings: Six conceptual domains for the measurement of well-being and 35 self-report instruments that have been used with people with dementia were identified. Six instruments were developed specifically for people with dementia, five were derived from the gerontological literature and 24 from the well-being literature. Fifteen instruments and one sub-scale have been examined for psychometric properties. To date, twenty have been used as outcome measures, with seven showing change over time. A number of identified instruments utilise traditional retrospective Likert-scaling formats, limiting their potential for use with some groups of people with dementia.
Conclusion: An assets/strengths-based framework is presented, outlining structural domains for selecting self-report measures of well-being in people with dementia. It provides a foundation for enhancing research on processes and outcomes of psychosocial interventions, including instrument development, more precise matching of intervention aims with outcome measurement, and newer technology-based ‘in-the-moment’ measurement.
Key words: dementia; outcome measurement; well-being; quality of life; positive psychology; successful aging; lived experience


Clarke, C., Woods, B., Moniz-Cook, E., Mountain, G., Øksnebjerg, L., Chattat, R., …Wolverson, E. (in press). Measuring the well-being of people with dementia : a conceptual scoping review. Health and quality of life outcomes, 18(1), Article 249.

Journal Article Type Review
Acceptance Date Jun 3, 2020
Online Publication Date Jul 24, 2020
Deposit Date Jun 5, 2020
Publicly Available Date Jun 8, 2020
Journal Health and Quality of Life Outcomes
Print ISSN 1477-7525
Electronic ISSN 1477-7525
Publisher Springer Verlag
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 18
Issue 1
Article Number 249
Keywords Dementia; Outcome measurement; Well-being; Quality of life; Positive psychology; Successful aging; Lived experience
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©2020 The authors. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the written permission of the copyright holder

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