Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

The needs of people with dementia living at home from user, caregiver and professional perspectives: a cross-sectional survey

Claudia Miranda-Castillo13*, Bob Woods2 and Martin Orrell3

Author Affiliations

1 Escuela de Psicología, Facultad de Medicina, Universidad de Valparaíso, Av. Brasil 2140, Valparaíso, Chile

2 Dementia Services Development Centre, Bangor University, 45 College Road, Bangor, LL57 2AS, UK

3 Unit of Mental Health Sciences, University College London, London, 67-73 Riding House Street, London, W1W 7EJ, UK

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BMC Health Services Research 2013, 13:43  doi:10.1186/1472-6963-13-43

Published: 4 February 2013



Few reports have been published about differences in perspectives on perceived needs among community-residing people with dementia, their family caregivers, and professionals. The aim of this study was to compare these perspectives.


During 2006 and 2007, one-hundred and fifty two interviews of people with dementia and their caregivers about the needs of the person with dementia were performed by four professionals using The Camberwell Assessment of Need for the Elderly (CANE). Professionals’ views on met and unmet needs of people with dementia were obtained for the total sample, family caregivers’ perspectives were gained for 125 people with dementia, and people with dementia’s views on their own needs were obtained for 125 persons with dementia.


People with dementia reported fewer needs compared with the reports of their caregivers and the professionals. The most frequent unmet needs reported by people with dementia, caregivers and professionals were in the areas of daytime activities, company, and psychological distress; however, people with dementia rated psychological distress as the commonest unmet need.


Since the priorities of people with dementia can be different from those of caregivers and professionals, it is important to consider all perspectives when making care plans. Thus, compliance with treatment of people with dementia and also their quality of life could be potentially improved by a more collaborative partnership with them.

Needs assessment; Dementia; Caregiver; Community-dwelling