Outcome Measures

[SOURCE: Glanz A and Knapp M (2017) Understanding substantive and theoretical issues in long-term care. Glossary of key terms. From: Social Protection Investment in Long-Term Care Project, HORIZON 2020 - Grant Agreement No 649565. European Union. (The resource is accessible here)]

The outcomes achieved by a long-term care intervention should be defined by reference to the individuals who are potentially affected by those interventions, and specifically by the extent to which their needs have been met. These outcomes therefore relate both to the individual who is the primary recipient of care and also to their unpaid family and other carers. Synonyms for outcomes include ‘final outcomes’ and (especially in economic evaluation) ‘effectiveness’ (Knapp 1984, Knapp and Kettunen 2017).

When assessing the outcomes of a long-term care intervention, there are potentially many dimensions to take into consideration. The Adult Social Care Outcomes Toolkit  (ASCOT; Netten et al. 2012) offers a very helpful framework for identifying those dimensions, as well as a means by which to measure achievement along each of them. There are eight domains to the ASCOT approach: (a) to feel clean and comfortable; (b) to get enough nutritious and appropriate food and drink; (c) to feel safe and secure; (d) to have accommodation that is clean and comfortable; (e) to have control over one’s daily life and activities; (f) to be sufficiently occupied in meaningful activities; (g) to feel involved and to have meaningful relationships; and (h) dignity – not to experience any negative psychological impact of support and care on one’s personal sense of significance.

There are many other tools for measuring long-term care outcomes, spanning some or all of these same eight domains.

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