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Does the community-based combined Meeting Center Support Programme (MCSP) make the pathway to day-care activities easier for people living with dementia? A comparison before and after implementation of MCSP in three European countries

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  13 February 2018

Dorota Szcześniak*
Department of Psychiatry, Wroclaw Medical University, Wroclaw, Poland
Rose-Marie Dröes
Department of Psychiatry, EMGO institute for Health and Care Research, VU University Medical Center, Amsterdam, the Netherlands
Franka Meiland
VU University Medical Center, Amsterdam, the Netherlands
Dawn Brooker
Association for Dementia Studies, University of Worcester, Worcester, UK
Elisabetta Farina
IRCCS S. Maria Nascente Don Gnocchi Foundation, Milan, Italy
Rabih Chattat
Department of Psychology, University of Bologna, Bologna, Italy
Shirley B. Evans
Association for Dementia Studies, University of Worcester, Worcester, UK
Simon C. Evans
Association for Dementia Studies, University of Worcester, Worcester, UK
Francesca Lea Saibene
IRCCS S. Maria Nascente Don Gnocchi Foundation, Milan, Italy
Katarzyna Urbańska
Department of Psychiatry, Wroclaw Medical University, Wroclaw, Poland
Joanna Rymaszewska
Department of Psychiatry, Wroclaw Medical University, Wroclaw, Poland
Correspondence should be addressed to: Dorota Szcześniak, Department of Psychiatry, Division of Consultation Psychiatry and Neuroscience, Wroclaw Medical University, Pasteura 10, 50-367 Wroclaw, Poland. Phone: +48 71 784 16 28; Fax: +48 71 784 16 02. Email:



The “pathway to care” concept offers a helpful framework for preparing national dementia plans and strategies and provides a structure to explore the availability and accessibility of timely and effective care for people with dementia and support for their informal carers. Within the framework of the JPND-MEETINGDEM implementation project the pathways to regular day-care activities and the Meeting Centers Support Programme (MCSP), an innovative combined support form for people with dementia and carers, was explored.


An exploratory, descriptive, qualitative, cross-country design was applied to investigate the pathways to day care in several regions in four European countries (Italy, Poland, United Kingdom, and the Netherlands).


Before implementation of MCSP, of the four countries the United Kingdom had the most structured pathway to post-diagnostic support for people with dementia. MCSP introduction had a positive impact on the pathways to day-care activities in all countries. MCSP filled an important gap in post-diagnostic care, increasing the accessibility to support for both people with dementia and carers. Key elements such as program of activities, target group, and collaboration between healthcare and social services were recognized as success factors.


This study shows that MCSP fills (part of) the gap between diagnosis and residential care and can therefore be seen as a pillar of post-diagnostic care and support. Further dissemination of Meeting Centers in Europe may have a multiple impact on the structure of dementia services in European countries and the pathways to day care for people with dementia and their carer(s).

Original Research Article
Copyright © International Psychogeriatric Association 2018 

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