Box 2.

Case study 2: measuring social impact of a dementia service

A ‘triple bottom line’ evaluation of a service providing a range of group activities for younger people with dementia considered its social impacts on staff, patients and carers.15,16
Staff sickness and turnover rates within the service were noted to be low, suggesting a sustainable use of staff resource.
Measures of patients’ cognitive function and behavioural and psychological disturbance were used as proxies for social impact on patients and carers. These are known to be independent predictors of need for 24-hour care.17 The evaluation found that, despite cognitive function deteriorating as would be expected in dementia, for people using the service, there was an improvement in distressing behavioural and psychotic symptoms. In addition, comparison with a small group of matched controls found a slower deterioration in cognition in those accessing the service than those not accessing it.
Carers’ views were also sought regarding the value of the service to their relative's and their own wellbeing and providing carers with respite time. 77% of carers reported a benefit to their relative's wellbeing and 82% said they had gained respite time.