The IIG meeting for this year has finished with developments happening around the world. Of most interest perhaps is the use of DCM in settings other than with people who have dementia. It is being trialled for use with people who have learning difficulties, in acute settings and in neuro-rehabilitation settings (with brain injured patients). These pilot studies are revealing that only small changes need to be made for DCM to be a valuable tool in measuring the quality of life of people in many different care settings.
The final care setting that is of interest to those who come from Australia is the use of DCM in the community, ie in home care. This has long been a desire but until recently the form of DCM for this purpose had not been available to us. The protocol that is now in place means that if we conduct a small pilot study of the acceptability and feasibility of the DCM-SL (supported living) and find it is both acceptable and feasible we can begin training staff in the use of it. Very exciting for us in Australia.
Lastly the SOFI tool (a modification of DCM that allows for 2 hours of direct observation by an inspector/assessor) that has been used by the inspection agency in the UK (equivalent of our Accreditation Agency in Australia) is now available for use by agencies in other countries such as Australia. A protocol for mapping it to the standards that exists in Australia would have to be done and then a training course run for assessors. This is a very hopeful move that may enable the accreditation agency to include direct observation of resident experience in their assessment of the quality of care being provided to our residents. Given that the new standards are supposed to be more person centred this tool would be a core and important means of assessing compliance with such standards.
All in all a very good and positive meeting.