Background: As the population ages, the incidence of dementia and its burden on society will increase. The economic costs of dementia are high, particularly for persons in the mid and late stages of the disease, when formal care arrangements such as nursing home placement are required. The need for care is often precipitated by the development of behavioural and psychological symptoms of dementia (BPSD) which also severely affect the quality of life of affected persons and their carers The Caring for Aged-Care REsident Study (CARES), the first randomised controlled trial to evaluate Dementia Care Mapping (DCM) and Person Centred Care (PCC), demonstrated that either of the two interventions improved outcomes compared to Usual Care (UC) on the primary outcome measure, the Cohen-Mansfield Agitation Inventory (CMAI). This study reports the results of an economic evaluation which was undertaken in conjunction with the trial. This information will provide additional information to assist policy makers in making choices between competing options. Methods: Fifteen nursing homes were randomised to one of three conditions: DCM, PCC or Usual Care (UC). The sample consisted of 360 residents with dementia. Data were collected at baseline, three months, and eight months by assessors blind to group assignment. In addition to the CMAI, data were collected about the use and costs of health care resources and pharmacological interventions. Total costs associated with each of the interventions were estimated, which were contrasted with the outcomes using standard health economics methodology. Results: Over one year, the cost per residential setting of implementing DCM and PCC relative to UC was $10,034 and $2,250 respectively. The additional cost per resident-level unit improvement in CMAI post-intervention (at follow-up) relative to UC was $48.95 ($46.89) for DCM and $8.01 ($6.43) for PCC. Compared to DCM, PCC produced a greater reduction in anxiety and agitation at a lower cost. Therefore, DCM was dominated by PCC and removed from the economic evaluation. Sensitivity analysis suggests this result is robust to changing model parameters. Conclusions: PCC provides a greater decrease in agitation and related behavioural and psychological symptoms of dementia, compared with DCM, at a lower cost and is the preferred option for cost-effectiveness. While there is no existing standard for a reasonable cost for a point improvement in CMAI, the cost per unit under PCC seems acceptable.Dementia, patient centred care
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