Emotional well-being in people with dementia – A comparative study of farm-based and regular day care services in Norway - Nasjonal kompetansetjeneste for aldring og helse

Health and Social Care in the Community, 2021

Emotional well-being in people with dementia – A comparative study of farm-based and regular day care services in Norway

There is a focus on how to provide care for the increasing number of people with dementia, and day care services have been highlighted as an important service. The present study aims to provide an in-depth comparison of the emotional well-being of participants at farm-based and regular day care services related to different aspects of the care environments. We used the Maastricht Electronic Daily Life Observation-tool to observe and register aspects of the care environment at the services. Observations took place at ten farm-based day care services, with 42 participants, and seven regular day care centres, with 46 participants. Observed mood was considered an indicator for the emotional well-being of the participants and used as the primary outcome. The analyses showed a general positive mood for all participants, regardless of type of day care service. The unadjusted analyses showed more emotional well-being for the participants at farm-based day care across a range of factors compared to regular day care. The linear mixed model found that regardless of service type the activities (1) exercise and dancing, and (2) quiz, music and spiritual activities were associated with emotional well-being. In addition, social interaction, either with one person or two or more people, were also associated with emotional well-being regardless of service type. The mixed model further demonstrated an association between attending farm-based day care services and positive mood compared to regular day care services. Based on the findings social interaction and social activities seem important to emotional well-being. This highlights the social aspect of the day care services and future research should investigate how one can facilitate good social interactions at day care services. The positive association between farm-based day care services and emotional well-being may potentially reflect a positive influence of the farm setting and the farm service providers.


Bjørnar Finnanger-Garshol, Ingeborg Pedersen, Grete Patil, Siren Eriksen, Lina Harvold Ellingsen-Dalskau

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