Aging Clinical and Experimental Research

, Volume 28, Issue 5, pp 973–982 | Cite as

Care dependency and nursing care problems in nursing home residents with and without dementia: a cross-sectional study

Original Article


Background and aim

Chronic diseases, like dementia, can lead to care dependency and nursing care problems. This study aims to compare the degree of care dependency and the prevalence of nursing care problems (pressure ulcer, incontinence, malnutrition, falls, restraints) between residents with and without dementia and between the stages of dementia.


A cross-sectional design was chosen and a total of 277 residents with and 249 residents without dementia from nine Austrian nursing homes were assessed by staff using standardized instruments.


Significantly more residents with than without dementia are completely or to a great extent care dependent (54.5 vs. 16.9 %). The comparison of care dependency between the stages of dementia indicates a large difference between moderate and severe dementia (completely care dependent: 9.3 vs. 44.3 %). The comparison of the assessed nursing care problems between residents with and without dementia reveals a significant difference only with regard to incontinence (urinary: 84.2 vs. 53.2 %, fecal: 50.9 vs. 17.7 %, double: 49.1 vs. 14.9 %). Urinary incontinence is high even in early dementia at 64 %, reaching 94 % in severe dementia. Fecal- and double incontinence are comparatively much lower in early dementia (both types 12 %) and rise to more than 80 % (both types) in severe dementia.


These results highlight areas in which dementia care needs further improvements. The authors suggest maximizing residents’ independence to stabilize care dependency and improve incontinence care. Furthermore, longitudinal studies are recommended to deepen insight into the development of care dependency and nursing care problems in dementia residents.


Dependency Incontinence Quality indicators Prevalence Stages of dementia 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sandra Schüssler
    • 1
  • Theo Dassen
    • 2
  • Christa Lohrmann
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Nursing ScienceMedical University of GrazGrazAustria
  2. 2.Institute of Health Sciences Education and Nursing ScienceCharité–Universitätsmedizin BerlinBerlinGermany

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