Empowerment for people living with dementia: an integrative literature review

Charlotte T.M. van Corven*, Annemiek Bielderman, Mandy Wijnen, R. Leontjevas, Peter Lucassen, Maud Graff, Debby Gerritsen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Background and objectives

Although the concept of empowerment seems useful for good care and support for people living with dementia, there is a lack of understanding of the process of empowerment. Therefore, more insight is needed into the concept of empowerment, and the environment's role in the empowerment process.
Research design and methods

We performed an integrative literature review (PubMed, CINAHL, PsychINFO), including studies that addressed empowerment for people living with dementia in their title or abstract. Using qualitative data analysis software ATLAS.ti, we applied open codes to describe all relevant aspects of included articles. Common themes and categories were identified using inductive reasoning and constant comparison.

Sixty-nine articles were included. We identified four themes: (1) description of the state of being empowered, (2) the process of empowerment, (3) contribution of the environment to the empowerment process, and (4) effects on other variables. We combined these results with the conceptual framework of our previous qualitative study on the definition of empowerment for people living with dementia based on stakeholders’ perspectives into a revised conceptual framework. Subsequently, the combined information of both studies was visualized in a revised conceptual framework.
Discussion and implications

This literature review provides more details as to the role of the environment for empowerment of people living with dementia and suggests that empowerment can be considered a dynamic process, taking place through interaction between the person living with dementia and their environment. Our revised conceptual framework of empowerment can serve as a basis for future studies on empowerment for people living with dementia, and to support (in)formal caregivers in the empowerment process.
Original languageEnglish
Article number104098
JournalInternational Journal of Nursing Studies
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2021


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