A multi-method evaluation of an independent dementia care service and its approach

Aging Ment Health. 2001 Feb;5(1):63-72. doi: 10.1080/13607860020020663.


Changes to approaches in dementia care and subsequent services over the last decade have meant that quality of care for people with dementia and their carers has undoubtedly improved. However, few in-depth dementia service evaluation studies are documented. Those that are tend to focus on traditional evaluation measures such as length of stay or functional improvement, or they concentrate on the perspectives of carers. This study used multiple methods within Fourth Generation Methodology to evaluate (SPECAL) Specialized Early Care of Alzheimer's, a dementia care service and approach. The findings demonstrated that, within its approach, there was high quality of care offered by SPECAL to people with dementia and their carers. The evaluation also highlighted some of the difficulties facing SPECAL in its relationships with existing professional providers of mental health care for older people that have implications for other service providers. Recommendations from the evaluation were adopted as an agenda for future developmental work. This study has provoked broader questions for multi-disciplinary and multi-agency teams about quality of services for older people with dementia, and about relationships between the voluntary and statutory sectors.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Alzheimer Disease / nursing
  • Alzheimer Disease / rehabilitation*
  • Consumer Behavior
  • Day Care, Medical*
  • England
  • Female
  • Health Services for the Aged*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Needs Assessment
  • Nursing, Team
  • Patient Care Team*
  • Quality Assurance, Health Care*
  • Respite Care