Single-System Methodology: A Way Forward in Dementia Care?

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Owing to the cognitive disability of people with dementia, the direct observation of behaviour is often the only means of evaluating the impact of therapeutic interventions. A number of standardised instruments of direct observation have been developed in recent years, but none offering the occupational therapist the flexibility with which to evaluate the diversity of physical, emotional, cognitive and behavioural variables encountered in dementia care. Conventional group-comparison methodology is inadequate in the clinical setting. Single-system evaluation is able to address the highly individualised needs of people with dementia. This paper describes how an evaluation may be custom-built to identify the specific changes elicited in a specific individual by a specific intervention under specific conditions.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: October 1, 1998

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  • The British Journal of Occupational Therapy (BJOT) is the official journal of the College of Occupational Therapists. Its purpose is to publish articles relevant to theory, practice, research, education and management in occupational therapy internationally.

    BJOT publishes research articles, critical reviews, practice analyses, opinion pieces, editorials, letters to the editor, book reviews and an annual index. Please refer to the author's guide at

    Submissions can be made at

    The 2013 Impact Factor for The British Journal of Occupational Therapy is 0.897.

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