Improving Care for People with Dementia: Development and initial feasibility study for evaluation of Life Story Work in Dementia care ('first look' draft summary)

Research output: Other contribution


Improving quality of care in general hospitals, living well with dementia in care homes, reducing the use of anti-psychotic medication and improving health outcomes through improving care outcomes are priority policy objectives for dementia.
Listening to people with dementia and understanding their rich and varied histories is seen as essential to good care. ‘Life story work’ (LSW) is used increasingly for this and involves gathering information and artefacts about the person, their history and interests, and producing a picture book or other tangible output – the ‘life story’ (LS). LSW has been used in health and social care settings for nearly three decades. Since the 1990s, there has been
growing interest in its potential to deliver person-centred care for people with dementia.
Despite increased use in the NHS and elsewhere, the outcomes of LSW for people with dementia, family carers, and staff, its costs, and impact on care quality remain unevaluated.
The research questions were:
1. How might LSW improve outcomes for people with dementia, carers, staff and wider
health and social care systems?
2. How cost-effective could this be?
3. Is formal evaluation of LSW feasible?
Original languageEnglish
Type'First look' draft summary
Media of outputonline
PublisherNational Institute for Health Research Evaluations, Trials and Studies Coordinating Centre
Number of pages8
Place of PublicationSouthampton
VolumeNIHR 2658
Publication statusPublished - 18 Jan 2016


  • dementia
  • life stories
  • CARE

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