The study recruited 50 care homes and 726 residents with dementia across West Yorkshire, London and Oxfordshire. After baseline data collection, 31 care homes were randomised to DCM and 19 to usual care, with data collection repeated at 6- and 16-months after randomisation. At 16-months we recruited a further 261 residents because nearly 50% of the original sample had died or moved away from the care home.
We collected data on resident outcomes such as agitation, other behaviours staff may find difficult to support, antipsychotic medication use, resident quality of life and the quality of staff communication with residents. Data were collected from residents, relatives and staff members.
We aimed to train two staff members in each DCM allocated home to use the method (trained DCM users are called ‘mappers’). We asked them to complete three full DCM cycles over the 16-month period. While the aim of a pragmatic trial is to implement DCM as close to real world delivery as possible, we included a range of additional supports for care home mappers to help implementation, which would be feasible to put in place if DCM was found to be effective. This included skills and qualities selection criteria for mappers, providing standardised documents to complete each DCM component, providing an external expert in use of DCM to help mappers deliver their first cycle, ongoing support by e-mail/phone from a DCM intervention lead and providing text message prompts to remind mappers to complete each cycle.
After final data collection was complete we interviewed mappers, managers, staff, residents and relatives in 18 of the care homes that had been allocated to use DCM. The homes represented a range of implementation from none to three cycles. We asked them about their experiences of implementing DCM and the barriers and facilitators to this.