HealthDay News — Good relationships, social engagement, better every day functioning, good physical and mental health, and high-quality care are linked to better quality of life (QoL) for patients with dementia, according to a review published online May 8 in Psychological Medicine.
Anthony Martyr, Ph.D., from University of Exeter in the United Kingdom, and colleagues conducted a systematic literature review to identify observational studies investigating factors associated with QoL, well-being, and life satisfaction in patients with dementia.
Based on 198 QoL studies, 43 factors had sufficient data (37,639 patients with dementia) to evaluate. While these factors were significantly associated with QoL, the researchers found that effect sizes were often small (0.10 to 0.29) or negligible (≤0.09). Better QoL was associated with factors reflecting relationships, social engagement, and functional ability, while poorer QoL was associated with factors tied to poorer physical and mental health, including depression and other neuropsychiatric symptoms, and poorer carer well-being. There was limited longitudinal evidence for predictors of QoL, as well as considerable between-study heterogeneity.
“The pattern of numerous predominantly small associations with QoL suggests a need to reconsider approaches to understanding and assessing living well with dementia,” the authors write.