The impact of individual Cognitive Stimulation Therapy (iCST) on cognition, quality of life, caregiver health, and family relationships in dementia: a randomized controlled trial

Orrell, Martin, Yates, Lauren, Leung, Phuong, Kang, Sujin, Hoare, Zoe, Whitaker, Chris, Burns, Alistair, Knapp, Martin, Leroi, Iracema, Moniz-Cook, Esme, Pearson, Stephen, Simpson, Stephen, Spector, Aimee, Roberts, Steven, Russell, Ian, de Waal, Hugo, Woods, Robert T. and Orgeta, Vasiliki (2017) The impact of individual Cognitive Stimulation Therapy (iCST) on cognition, quality of life, caregiver health, and family relationships in dementia: a randomized controlled trial. PLoS Medicine, 14 (3). e1002269/1-e1002269/22. ISSN 1549-1277

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Background: Cognitive Stimulation Therapy (CST) is a well-established group psychosocial intervention for people with dementia. There is evidence that homebased programmes of cognitive stimulation delivered by family caregivers may benefit both the person and the caregiver. However, no previous studies have evaluated caregiver-delivered CST. This study aimed to evaluate the effectiveness of a home-based, caregiver-led individual Cognitive Stimulation Therapy (iCST) program in (i) improving cognition and quality of life (QoL) for the person with dementia and (ii) mental and physical health (wellbeing) for the caregiver.

Methods and Findings: A single-blind, pragmatic randomized trial (RCT) at eight study sites across the UK. The intervention and blinded assessment of outcomes were conducted in participants’ homes. 356 people with mild to moderate dementia and their caregivers recruited from memory services, and community mental health teams. Participants were randomly assigned to iCST (75, 30 minute sessions) or treatment as usual (TAU) control over 25 weeks. iCST sessions consisted of themed activities designed to be mentally stimulating and enjoyable. Caregivers delivering iCST received training and support from an unblind researcher. Primary outcomes were cognition (Alzheimer’s Disease Assessment Scale cognitive [ADAS-Cog]) and self-reported quality of life (QoL) (Quality of Life Alzheimer’s Disease [QoL-AD]) for the person with dementia, and general health status (Short Form-12 [SF-12]) for the caregiver. Secondary outcomes included: quality of the caregiving relationship from the perspectives of the person and of the caregiver (Quality of the Carer Patient Relationships Scale), and health-related QoL (EQ5D) for the caregiver. Intention to treat (ITT) analyses were conducted. At the post-test (26 weeks), there were no differences between the iCST and TAU groups in the outcomes of cognition (MD = -0·55, 95% CI -2·00 to 0·90; p=0·45), and self-reported quality of life (QoL) (MD = -0·02, 95% CI -1·22 to 0·82; p= 0·97) for people with dementia, or caregivers’ general health status (MD=0·13, 95% CI -1·65 to 1·91; p=0·89). However, people with dementia receiving iCST rated the relationship with their caregiver more positively (MD = 1·77, 95% CI 0·26 to 3·28; p=0·02) and iCST improved QoL for caregivers (EQ-5D, MD = 0·06, 95% CI 0·02 to 0·10; p=0·01). Forty percent (72/180) of dyads allocated to iCST completed at least two sessions per week, with 22% (39/180) completing no sessions at all. Study limitations include low adherence to the intervention.

Conclusions: There was no evidence that iCST has an effect on cognition or QoL for people with dementia. However, participating in iCST appeared to enhance the quality of the caregiving relationship and caregivers’ QoL.

Item Type: Article
Schools/Departments: University of Nottingham, UK > Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > School of Medicine > Division of Psychiatry and Applied Psychology
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Depositing User: Eprints, Support
Date Deposited: 17 Feb 2017 09:46
Last Modified: 04 May 2020 18:39

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