A quantitative assessment of the dementia-friendliness of a community can support planning and evaluation of dementia-friendly community (DFC) initiatives, internal review, and national/international comparisons, encouraging a more systematic and strategic approach to the advancement of DFCs. However, assessment of the dementia-friendliness of a community is not always conducted and continuous improvement and evaluation of the impact of dementia-friendly initiatives are not always undertaken. A dearth of applicable evaluation tools is one reason why there is a lack of quantitative assessments of the dementia-friendliness of communities working on DFC initiatives.
A scoping review was conducted to identify and examine assessment tools that can be used to conduct quantitative assessments of the dementia-friendliness of a community.
Design and methods
Peer-reviewed studies related to DFCs were identified through a search of seven electronic databases (MEDLINE, CINAHL, PsycINFO, Embase, EMCare, HealthSTAR, and AgeLine). Grey literature on DFCs was identified through a search of the World Wide Web and personal communication with community leads in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Characteristics of identified assessment tools were tabulated, and a narrative summary of findings was developed along with a discussion of strengths and weaknesses of identified tools.
Forty tools that assess DFC features (built environment, dementia awareness and attitudes, and community needs) were identified. None of the identified tools were deemed comprehensive enough for the assessment of community needs of people with dementia.