How we measure the impact of our treatment
The Ness Online Support service provides remote, one-to-one virtual dementia therapy for those living with memory problems and those that care for them. Using software such as Zoom, this specialist digital service has been developed to enable people to access support from the comfort and safety of their own home.
Unless we measure what we do and the impact it has we can’t prove the incredible difference our intervention makes.
We have tested various tools for measuring brain changes over the years before discovering the Functional Independence Measure & Functional Assessment Measure (FIM & FAM). This tool was designed by the NHS to measure an individual’s independence in the community post a brain injury, however, it fits perfectly with community dementia.
Our expert therapeutic facilitators measure 9 different functions such as memory, social interaction, emotional regulation & comprehension.
It is very exciting and interesting for many families to be able to see validated data and the incredible brain changes in their loved one. No where else in the UK does what we do and we are incredibly proud of this.
The process of assessment
All the data is collected through observations by the facilitator during the carefully designed therapy session.
In their first trial session, an individual is given a baseline score, which all other subsequent scores are tracked against. This helps us to monitor and record the impact our therapy has on an individual’s decline and make comparisons against the predicted progression of the disease. Weekly data points are collated for each individual, as shown in each of the graphs.
Bias is accounted for in 3 ways; number of data entries over a long period, different facilitators observing and collating the data and random team based discussion on each individual.
We have case studies of people that The Ness have supported and monitored over a period of time using the FIM-FAM tool.
You will also see a sample Impact Measurement Data Sheet. This shows how the facilitators will decide upon a score based on a series of functional independence measurement questions. The scores from each functional assessment are added together to produce a composite score.
How it has helped us tailor our support
As we mentioned at the start, the use of a validated tool to track changes in someone’s disease progression is unique within a non-NHS day service. We believe our use of FIM & FAM does 4 important things:
Prove the impact and benefit of our therapies and prove that we can delay the need for more acute, expensive complex care.
We can monitor the progression of an individual’s dementia against the expected trajectory and escalate concerns to the NHS or Family.
It allows The Ness to tailor our sessions to support each individual’s need whether that is language, social confidence, memory or executive function (planning).
The data and the proof advocates for more research and funding to go into preventative community care to help families and individuals stay at home.
The Ness is breaking new ground in helping those in the community to live fully and independently for as long as possible.
See some case studies of people that The Ness have supported and monitored over a period of time using the FIM-FAM tool.
Mrs WB’s case study
WB came to us through a private referral by her daughter in 2018. She had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s 2 years previously in 2016.. >>Read case study
Mr TC’s case study
Mr TC’s wife first approached us in 2019 following her husbands Alzheimer’s diagnosis. He was a smart, well-presented gentleman who had spent years working in the NHS as a qualified nurse. >>Read case study
Fim-Fam Comparison Charts
In these graphs, we have compared Ness members with the predicted Alzheimers and Vascular Dementia trajectory.>>See results