Adult Day Service Use Decreases Likelihood of a Missed Physician's Appointment Among Dementia Caregivers

Lauren J. Parker, Joseph E. Gaugler, Quincy Samus, Laura N. Gitlin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND/OBJECTIVE: Adult day services (ADSs) that provide community-based supervised support for persons with dementia (PWD) may also function as a respite for familial caregivers to attend to self-care needs. Guided by a revised version of the Andersen Healthcare Utilization Model, the objective of this study was to identify the association between use of ADSs and a missed physician's appointment among family caregivers for community-dwelling familial PWD. A secondary objective was to identify other predisposing, enabling, and need factors associated with a missed physician's appointment. DESIGN: Secondary analysis of baseline, cross-sectional data from two randomized controlled trials (Advancing Caregiver Training, n = 272; and Care of Persons With Dementia in Their Environments, n = 237). SETTING: Community. PARTICIPANTS: Community-dwelling caregivers for PWD (n = 509). MEASUREMENTS: Missed physician's appointment was measured using the caregivers' self-report of one or more missed physician's appointments (yes/no) in the past 6 months. ADS use was measured using the caregivers’ self-report of ADS use (yes/no). RESULTS: Over a third of the caregivers utilized ADSs for their PWD. Caregivers who utilized ADSs for their familial PWD were 49% less likely (95% confidence interval = 0.32-0.81) to miss a physician's appointment in the past 6 months. More black compared to white caregivers missed appointments regardless of ADS use. Caregivers with increased chronic health conditions were more likely to miss a physician's appointment compared to those with fewer conditions. CONCLUSION: ADSs’ provision of respite enables caregivers the time to address self-care needs by decreasing the likelihood that caregivers miss a physician's appointment. Findings suggest that ADSs may promote positive health behaviors for caregivers and should be expanded as part of comprehensive dementia care for families. Factors associated with missed physician appointments need further examination and intervention to support black caregivers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1467-1471
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of the American Geriatrics Society
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 The American Geriatrics Society.


  • community residing
  • dementia
  • health service use
  • informal caregivers


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