Building capacity and resilience in the dementia care workforce: a systematic review of interventions targeting worker and organizational outcomes

Int Psychogeriatr. 2012 Jun;24(6):882-94. doi: 10.1017/S1041610211002651. Epub 2012 Jan 23.


Background: Dementia increasingly impacts every health and social care system in the world. Preparing the dementia care workforce is therefore paramount, particularly in light of existing problems of staff retention and turnover. Training interventions will need to increase worker and organizational capacity to deliver effective patient care. It is not clear which training interventions best enhance workers' capacity. A review of the evidence for dementia care training interventions to enhance worker capacity and facilitate organizational change is presented.

Methods: A systematic literature review was conducted. All selected randomized intervention studies aimed to enhance some aspect of dementia care worker or workforce capacity such as knowledge of dementia, psychological well-being, work performance, and organizational factors such as retention or service delivery in dementia care.

Results: Seventy-four relevant studies were identified, but only six met inclusion criteria for the review. The six studies selected focused on worker and organizational outcomes in dementia care. All interventions were multi-component with dementia education or instructional training most commonly adopted. No interventions were found for the community setting. Variable effects were found for intervention outcomes and methodological concerns are raised.

Conclusion: The rigor of scientific research in training interventions that aim to build capacity of dementia care workers is poor and a strong need exists for evaluation and delivery of such interventions in the community sphere. Wider domains of interest such as worker psychological health and well-being need to be examined further, to understand capacity-building in the dementia care workforce.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Capacity Building / organization & administration
  • Dementia / therapy*
  • Health Services for the Aged* / organization & administration
  • Humans
  • Organizational Innovation
  • Workforce