Evidence Summary

What is an Evidence Summary?

Key messages from scientific research that's ready to be acted on

Got It, Hide this
  • Rating:

Person-centred care for older adults with dementia in residential settings may benefit patients as well as care providers

Barbosa A, Sousa L, Nolan M, et al.  Effects of person-centered care approaches to dementia care on staff: A systematic review American Journal of Alzheimer’s and Other Dementias. 2014;(Epub ahead of print).

Review question

What is the impact of person-centred care strategies on stress, burnout and job satisfaction among those providing direct care for older adults with dementia in residential care facilities for the aged?


The behavioural and psychological symptoms of dementia (e.g., agitation and wandering) can cause stress, burnout and job dissatisfaction among workers providing care to older adults with dementia in residential care homes.

Person-centred care includes a range of strategies that focus on engaging dementia patients in behaviour-oriented approaches (e.g., simplifying tasks), emotion-oriented approaches (e.g., reminiscence therapy), cognition-oriented approaches (e.g. orientation to one’s own reality)  and simulation-oriented approaches (e.g., art therapy).

While person-centred care shows promise, little is known about whether and how it has an impact on stress, burnout and job satisfaction among those providing care to dementia patients.

How the review was done

Several electronic databases were searched for research conducted up to and including 2013, and studies were included if they focused on workers providing direct care to dementia patients using a person-centred care approach, and had stress and/or burnout and/or job satisfaction as one of the primary outcomes.

678 potentially relevant studies were identified from the searches, and after screening, seven were included in the review.

Authors received funding for this study from the Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology.

What the researchers found

There are  potentially important benefits for person-centred care approaches for staff providing care to dementia patients, although it isn’t clear from the evidence what types of approaches are most beneficial for reducing stress and burnout, and improving job satisfaction.

Person-centred care can better prepare workers for providing dementia care, and more likely reflects workers’ preferred approach for providing care to older adults with dementia in residential settings, given that it is focused on residents and their individual needs, habits, interests and wishes.

There is still a lot of variation in different approaches to person-centred care, and more work needs to be done to better determine which approaches are most beneficial for patients and care providers.


Person-centred care for older adults with dementia living in residential care facilities can provide care that is more appropriate and focused on residents’ individual needs, habits, interests and wishes.

Some approaches may benefit those providing care by reducing stress and burnout, and improving job satisfaction.

This summary is based on a review that was determined to be of medium methodological quality based on an assessment using the AMSTAR tool.


Related Web Resources

  • Dementia in long-term care

    Canadian Institute for Health Information
    Older adults with dementia may need to move into long-term care homes if they can no longer stay at home. These people have higher risk of getting physically restrained or given antipsychotic medication. Changes to policy and education have made these things happen less often.
  • Treating pressure ulcers: New evidence, continued uncertainty

    Evidently Cochrane
    Gauze dressings should not be used to treat pressure ulcers (bed sores). Other options include alginate dressings, hydrogel dressings, and negative pressure wound therapy. More evidence is needed about which options are best to improve pain and reduce complications. Research should measure outcomes that matter to patients and carers as well as health professionals.
  • Patient education: Delirium (Beyond the Basics)

    UpToDate - patient information
    Delirium is the result of brain changes that lead to confusion, lack of focus and memory problems. There is no specific treatment for delirium - it is best to avoid risks, treat underlying illnesses and receive supportive care. Sedatives and physical restraints should be avoided.
DISCLAIMER These summaries are provided for informational purposes only. They are not a substitute for advice from your own health care professional. The summaries may be reproduced for not-for-profit educational purposes only. Any other uses must be approved by the McMaster Optimal Aging Portal (

Register for free access to all Professional content