Understanding of the relationship between staff and organisational variables with the quality of care provided, and quality of life for residents, is useful to establish which variables are important, the relative importance of the variables, and therefore, where it is most useful to intervene in order to increase quality of life for people with dementia.

Variables include staff attitude, wellbeing, skills, personality, and burnout. At facility level, the variables are staff ratios, level of autonomy or support given to staff, and differing views on what constitutes ‘care’.

The first phase of the project was to conduct two systematic reviews aimed at:

1. providing more information about the relationships between staff, quality of care, and quality of life for residents

2. the interventions that have been used with staff to try to improve quality of care and quality of life. We were only interested in staff variables that were potentially changeable (e.g. attitude but not gender); Quality of care was defined by what is actually done to or with residents; Quality of life was also broadly defined.

In the second phase of the project a longitudinal study of residents and aged care staff was conducted to identify the most critical staff variables to target in interventions.


Improving residential care through staff.


Bird, M., Anderson, K., MacPherson, S., & Blair, A. (2016). Do interventions with staff in long-term residential facilities improve quality of care or quality for life people with dementia? A systematic review of the evidence. International Psychogeriatrics, 28 (12) 1937-1963.

Anderson, K., Bird, M., MacPherson, S., & Blair, A. (2016). How do staff influence the quality of long-term dementia care and the lives of residents? A systematic review of the evidence. International Psychogeriatrics, 28(8) 1263-1281.


Dr Katrina Anderson