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Does an interdisciplinary network improve dementia care? Results from the IDemUck-study


Kohler, Leonore, Meinke-Franze, Claudia, Hein, Jurgen, Fendrich, Konstanze, Heymann, Romy, Thyrian, Jochen, Hoffmann, Wolfgang


Current Alzheimer Research, Volume: 11, No.: 6, Pages.: 538-548

Year of Publication



Background: Most persons with dementia live at home and are treated in the primary care. However, the ambulatory health care system in Germany contains a lot of “interface problems” and is not optimized for the future challenges. Innovative concepts like regional networks in dementia care exist on a project level and need to be tested for efficacy to encourage implementation. The goal of the study is the scientific evaluation of an already existing regional dementia network. Methods: Prospective randomized controlled trial of 235 community-living elderly with dementia and their family caregivers of network treatment (n = 117) compared to usual care (n = 118) in a predominantly rural region. The allocation to intervention or control group was based on network membership of their General Practitioner. Intervention patients received diagnostic evaluation and subsequent treatment according to network guidelines. Main outcome measures were the early contact with a neurologic or psychiatric specialist and dementia-specific medication as well as quality of life of the patients, and as secondary outcomes caregiver burden and caregiver health-related quality of life. Results: Network patients were more likely to receive antidementive drugs (50.5 % vs. 35.8 %; p = 0.035) and had more often contact to a neurologist (18.6 % vs. 2.8 %; p < 0.001). No group differences were found on patient’s quality of life nor overall effects or treatment by time effects. Intervention caregivers reported no significant improvements in health related quality of life measured by SF-36 and EQ-5D. Conclusion: The management of dementia patients in an interdisciplinary regional network solely provides measurable advantages with respect to the provision of dementia-specific medication and utilization of medical treatment i.e. referral rates to specialists. Further evaluation research is needed to identify relevant mechanisms of collaborative processes with respect to their impact on patient and caregiver related outcomes. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2014 APA, all rights reserved). (journal abstract)

Bibtex Citation

@article{Kohler_2014, doi = {10.2174/1567205011666140618100727}, url = {}, year = 2014, month = {jul}, publisher = {Bentham Science Publishers Ltd.}, volume = {11}, number = {6}, pages = {538--548}, author = {Leonore Kohler and Claudia Meinke-Franze and Jurgen Hein and Konstanze Fendrich and Romy Heymann and Jochen Thyrian and Wolfgang Hoffmann}, title = {Does an Interdisciplinary Network Improve Dementia Care? Results from the {IDemUck}-Study}, journal = {{CAR}} }


collaboration, collaborative care, dementia, disease management, home care, interdisciplinary, interdisciplinary treatment approach, intervention, intervention study, networks, primary care, primary health care, quality of care, quality of life, regional

Countries of Study


Types of Dementia

Dementia (general / unspecified)

Types of Study

Economic evaluation, Randomised Controlled Trial

Type of Outcomes

Quality of Life of Carer, Quality of Life of Person With Dementia, Service use or cost reductions (incl. hospital use reduction, care home admission delay)

Type of Interventions

Non-pharmacological Treatment, Workforce oriented interventions

Pharmaceutical Interventions

Anti-Alzheimer medications, e.g.: donezepil, galantamine, rivastigmine, memantime

Non-Pharmaceutical Interventions


Workforce Interventions