Objective. The present study focuses on opinions on the quality of nursing home care of family members of nursing home residents with dementia. Furthermore, we examined whether family members' appreciation of the care increased as a result of the implementation of emotion-oriented care.
Design. Randomized clinical trial.
Instrument. An 18-item questionnaire was developed. The following subjects were addressed: communication activities between staff and family members; satisfaction regarding contacts with staff; the extent to which family members can participate in care; the contact that family members experience with the person with dementia, and opinions about the way in which nursing staff treat residents.
Results. Most family members already had a positive opinion on the nursing home care prior to the implementation of emotion-oriented care. The most positive assessment concerned the way in which nursing staff treated residents. The lowest scores concerned communication activities between ward staff and family members. Comparison of the first and end measurements showed that in general opinions on the quality of care did not change.
Study limitations. A large number of incomplete questionnaires made it impossible to conduct factor analysis on the classification of the questions in various sections and therefore allowed us only to make statements at the item level.
Conclusions. For the most part family members had a positive opinion on the nursing home care. In general, implementation of emotion-oriented care did not lead to a more positive assessment. Despite the generally accepted notion that involving family members in care is important, family members were regularly treated as outsiders. This demonstrates that there is room for improvement in the communication by nursing home staff with family members (e.g. more frequent contacts and information about the illness).