Evaluating the Effectiveness of Community-Based Dementia Care Networks: The Dementia Care Networks' Study
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PURPOSE: The Dementia Care Networks' Study examined the effectiveness of four community-based, not-for-profit dementia networks. The study involved assessing the relationship between the types of administrative and service-delivery exchanges that occurred among the networked agencies and the network members' perception of the effectiveness of these exchanges. DESIGN AND METHODS: With the use of a case-study method, the evolution, structure, and processes of each network were documented. Social network analysis using a standardized questionnaire completed by member agencies identified patterns of administrative and clinical exchanges among networked agencies. RESULTS: Differences were found between the four networks in terms of their perceptions of service-delivery effectiveness; perceptions of administrative effectiveness did not factor significantly. Exchanges between groups of agencies (cliques) within each of the four networks were found to be more critical than those between individual agencies within each network. IMPLICATIONS: Integration-measured by the types of exchanges within as opposed to across networks-differentiated the four networks studied. This research contributes to our understanding of the use of multiple measures to evaluate the inner workings of service delivery and their impact on elder health and elder health care.
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