The term “living well with dementia” appears often in the literature. The authors of a recent meta-analysis attempted to analyse the constituents and contributory factors in quality of life (QoL), subjective well-being and / or life satisfaction in people with dementia and their carers / families. They found the concept to be surprisingly elusive, with much heterogeneity of usage and meaning across different studies. There were many candidate factors identified, some being associated significantly with QoL, but their effect sizes were typically small or negligible. At the most general level, it was found that:
“Factors reflecting relationships, social engagement and functional ability were associated with better QoL. Factors indicative of poorer physical and mental health (including depression and other neuropsychiatric symptoms) and poorer carer well-being were associated with poorer QoL”. (Abstract).
The authors raise concerns about a potential circularity of definitions and measurement. They suggest that “clear and consistent” terminology, due standardisation of methodologies and robust conceptual / methodological frameworks for research into outcomes may still be some way off.
Martyr, A. Nelis, SM. [and] Quinn, C. [et al] (2018). Living well with dementia: a systematic review and correlational meta-analysis of factors associated with quality of life, well-being and life satisfaction in people with dementia. Psychological Medicine. May 8th 2018: 1-10. [Epub ahead of print].