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Maintenance of health and relief for caregivers of elderly with dementia by using “initial case management”: experiences from the Lighthouse Project on Dementia, Ulm, ULTDEM-study


Lukas, A., Kilian, R., Hay, B., Muche, R., von Arnim, C.A.F., Otto, M., Riepe, M., Jamour, M., Denkinger, M.D., Nikolaus, T.


Zeitschrift Für Gerontologie Und Geriatrie, Volume: 45, No.: 4, Pages.: 298-309

Year of Publication



Background: When facing the well-known demographic development with an increasing number of people suffering from dementia, there is a need of programmes to support nursing relatives and care at home. Many support services have been established in the past few years but they are rarely used by the relatives and the patients. The purpose of the Lighthouse Project Ulm (ULTDEM Study) was to prove the effectiveness of a single advisory approach in order to provide support services after care level classification and to relieve the burden placed on relatives caring for family members suffering from dementia (“initial case management”).; Methods: The ULTDEM Study is a prospective, open, randomized, controlled, interventional study with different parallel outcome measures (burden of caring, quality of life and mood). After the randomization, the interventional group was given comprehensive, individual advice about available treatment possibilities for dementia patients. Control group participants received standard treatment. Inclusion criteria were application of a care level (0 or 1) as well as dementia diagnosis. All participants (patients/relatives) underwent an initial and a 6 month comprehensive assessment.; Results: Our results show that a single advisory approach does not lead to a significant difference in outcome measures in interventional and control groups. Those tendencies described have to be interpreted as clinically not relevant. Although utilization of support services increases, it remains similar in both study groups. A confirmatory interpretation has not been possible due to a lack of adjustment to the findings regarding multiple testing and an insufficient degree of recruitment. Possible causes will be discussed such as premature intervention during the course of the disease, a lack of intervention blinding, recruitment bias and lack of an influence on adherence with regard to the use of support services.; Implications: The study demonstrates that there is a substantial information deficit for persons affected by dementia and their relatives. Innovative ways still have to be developed to ensure that this information actually reaches the target audience.;

Bibtex Citation

@article{Lukas_2012, doi = {10.1007/s00391-012-0337-z}, url = {}, year = 2012, month = {apr}, publisher = {Springer Science $mathplus$ Business Media}, volume = {45}, number = {4}, pages = {298--309}, author = {A. Lukas and R. Kilian and B. Hay and R. Muche and C.A.F. von Arnim and M. Otto and M. Riepe and M. Jamour and M.D. Denkinger and T. Nikolaus}, title = {Gesunderhaltung und Entlastung pflegender Angehöriger von Demenzkranken durch ein ,,initiales Case Management{textquotedblleft}}, journal = {Zeitschrift für Gerontologie und Geriatrie} }


adult, aged, aged, 80 and over, caregivers, case management, dementia, epidemiology, female, germany, home care services, humans, male, middle aged, nursing, prevalence, psychology, referral and consultation, respite care, statistics & numerical data, treatment outcome, young adult

Countries of Study


Types of Dementia

Dementia (general / unspecified)

Types of Study

Randomised Controlled Trial

Type of Outcomes

Carer Burden (instruments measuring burden), Carers’ Mental Health, Quality of Life of Carer



Type of Interventions

Intervention for Carers, Non-pharmacological Treatment

Non-Pharmaceutical Interventions

Case management / Care navigator

Carer Focussed Interventions

Information and Advice