Recent Submissions

  • This is Me: Evaluation of a boardgame to promote social engagement, wellbeing and agency in people with dementia through mindful life-storytelling

    Craven, Michael P.; Gosling, Julie (2022)
    Receiving a dementia diagnosis is a difficult experience for most people and often affects their wellbeing negatively. To support people's wellbeing, in a therapeutic context, life-storytelling, reminiscence and mindfulness are used with people with dementia. In an everyday context, traditional games are used as a resource for stimulating memory, cognition and social activity. While an increasing number of creative strategies are available to support people with dementia, the area of board games design and their effect on wellbeing is underexplored. This paper reports on the evaluation of the This is Me (TIM) mindful life-storytelling board game by the European project MinD. Using a co-design methodology, TIM was developed with and for people with mild to moderate dementia to support their wellbeing by enhancing self-empowerment and social engagement. A focus group methodology was used to evaluate TIM with 50 people with dementia and 19 carers across four countries. TIM was evaluated with regard to the usability and experience of the design as well as people's emotional wellbeing, social engagement and agency. The thematic analysis demonstrated that the combination of life-storytelling and mindfulness allowed players to engage in meaningful social interaction and, as a result, they reported enjoyment, learning, more acceptance of the past and present situation, and that they perceived looking forward into the future together with others as helpful. The study demonstrates that design can be a useful means to support people with dementia in aspects of emotional wellbeing, social engagement and a sense of agency.
  • The struggle of apathy in dementia

    Dening, Tom; Baber, Waqaar; Chang, Marybeth; Yates, Jennifer A. (2021)
    Most people will recognise a sense of apathy within them, at some point during their lives, and this may present to a greater or lesser extent depending on the individual and the context. When people are asked about what apathy is, what it means, or how it might feel, generally they can provide an insight, suggesting it is something broadly universal to the human experience. We might consider apathy to be a lack of motivation, a feeling of not being bothered, or a desire to do something coupled completely with a desire not to do that same thing. For most people though, apathy can be overcome, and it represents a fleeting problem that does not impact on day-to-day life. For people with dementia, apathy is an important problem because it is recognised anecdotally, clinically and in research to be common (Selbaek et al., 2013; Zhao et al., 2016), persistent (van der Linde et al., 2017), and difficult to live with for both the person with dementia and those close to them (Feast et al., 2016). Follow-up studies suggest that apathy is associated with worse health and social outcomes (Breitve et al., 2018).
  • Evaluation of bedside tests of attention and arousal assessing delirium in Parkinson's disease, dementia, and older adults

    Stephan, Blossom C. M. (2021)
    BACKGROUNDDelirium is a serious acute neuropsychiatric condition associated with altered attention and arousal.OBJECTIVETo evaluate simple bedside tests for attention and arousal to detect delirium in those with and without Parkinson's disease (PD) and dementia.METHODSParticipants from two prospective delirium studies were pooled comprising 30 with PD without cognitive impairment, 24 with Lewy body cognitive impairment (PD dementia or dementia with Lewy bodies), 16 with another dementia and 179 PD and dementia-free older adults. Participants completed standardised delirium assessments including tests of attention: digit span, Memorial Delirium Assessment Scale (MDAS) attention and months of the year backwards; and arousal: Glasgow Coma Scale (GSC), Observational Scale of Level of Arousal (OSLA), Modified Richmond Agitation Scale and MDAS consciousness. Delirium was diagnosed using the DSM-5 criteria.RESULTSOn their first admission, 21.7%participants had prevalent delirium. Arousal measures accurately detected delirium in all participants (p <  0.01 for all), but only selected attention measures detected delirium in PD and dementia. In PD and dementia-free older adults, impaired digit span and OSLA were the optimal tests to detect delirium (area under the curve [AUC] = 0.838, p <  0.001) while in PD and dementia the optimal tests were MDAS attention and GCS LB.CONCLUSIONSimple bedside tests of attention and arousal at a single visit could accurately detect delirium in PD, dementia and PD and dementia-free older adults; however, the optimal tests differed between groups. Combined attention and arousal scores increased accuracy, which could have clinical utility to aid the identification of delirium neurodegenerative disorders.
  • Avoiding repair, maintaining face: Responding to hard-to-interpret talk from people living with dementia in the acute hospital

    O'Brien, Rebecca (2021)
    People living with dementia (PLWD) are almost always admitted to the acute hospital for reasons unrelated to their dementia, finding themselves in the unfamiliar environment of a Health Care of Older Persons acute ward. The effect of this environment creates a challenge not just for a PLWD themselves, but also for the staff who care for them. Concerns have been raised by both policy makers and staff about the quality of communication between hospital staff and PLWD. Using conversation analysis, we examined 41 video recordings of healthcare professional (HCP)/PLWD interactions collected across three acute inpatient wards in a large teaching hospital in the UK. In this paper, we focus our analysis on hard-to-interpret talk (talk where there are problems in hearing, speaking and/or understanding), and the ways in which healthcare professionals respond to this. Repair of hard- to- interpret talk is common in ordinary interaction, but we find that HCPs in this setting use a range of approaches to avoid direct repair. These approaches are: the use of non-committal responses and continuers such as ‘yeah’ or nods; the use of repetitions or partial repetitions; responding to the emotional tone displayed in the PLWD's utterance; closing the current topic and shifting to the next; and treating the PLWD's talk as related to the task at hand. We suggest that the use of these approaches may be one way in which HCPs manage respecting the personhood of the PLWD, by preserving face and enabling a continuation of an interaction in which the PLWD can take an active part. Our paper provides an empirical demonstration of the high level of interactional skill involved in dementia care work. It also illustrates how these skills can be described and specified, and hence incorporated into the recommendations and tips that are produced for communication with PLWD.
  • Participatory arts in care settings: A multiple case study: Innovative practice

    Broome, Emma; Dening, Tom; Schneider, Justine (2018)
    This paper describes two case studies of arts interventions in UK care settings. Visual arts and dance movement interventions were regularly held in two settings. This paper draws on data from qualitative interviews, reflective diary sheets and narrative monitoring reports to examine the content, context, and process of the arts interventions within the care settings. Activity coordinators play a crucial role in the success of arts interventions in care setting through their knowledge and support of residents. We recommend that preparatory consultations should take place between arts practitioners and care personnel, as this seems to improve participation and overall satisfaction.
  • Modifiable risk factors for dementia and dementia risk profiling. A user manual for Brain Health Services-part 2 of 6

    Stephan, Blossom C. M. (2021)
    We envisage the development of new Brain Health Services to achieve primary and secondary dementia prevention. These services will complement existing memory clinics by targeting cognitively unimpaired individuals, where the focus is on risk profiling and personalized risk reduction interventions rather than diagnosing and treating late-stage disease. In this article, we review key potentially modifiable risk factors and genetic risk factors and discuss assessment of risk factors as well as additional fluid and imaging biomarkers that may enhance risk profiling. We then outline multidomain measures and risk profiling and provide practical guidelines for Brain Health Services, with consideration of outstanding uncertainties and challenges. Users of Brain Health Services should undergo risk profiling tailored to their age, level of risk, and availability of local resources. Initial risk assessment should incorporate a multidomain risk profiling measure. For users aged 39-64, we recommend the Cardiovascular Risk Factors, Aging, and Incidence of Dementia (CAIDE) Dementia Risk Score, whereas for users aged 65 and older, we recommend the Brief Dementia Screening Indicator (BDSI) and the Australian National University Alzheimer's Disease Risk Index (ANU-ADRI). The initial assessment should also include potentially modifiable risk factors including sociodemographic, lifestyle, and health factors. If resources allow, apolipoprotein E ɛ4 status testing and structural magnetic resonance imaging should be conducted. If this initial assessment indicates a low dementia risk, then low intensity interventions can be implemented. If the user has a high dementia risk, additional investigations should be considered if local resources allow. Common variant polygenic risk of late-onset AD can be tested in middle-aged or older adults. Rare variants should only be investigated in users with a family history of early-onset dementia in a first degree relative. Advanced imaging with 18-fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography (FDG-PET) or amyloid PET may be informative in high risk users to clarify the nature and burden of their underlying pathologies. Cerebrospinal fluid biomarkers are not recommended for this setting, and blood-based biomarkers need further validation before clinical use. As new technologies become available, advances in artificial intelligence are likely to improve our ability to combine diverse data to further enhance risk profiling. Ultimately, Brain Health Services have the potential to reduce the future burden of dementia through risk profiling, risk communication, personalized risk reduction, and cognitive enhancement interventions.
  • Mediterranean diet and cognitive function: From methodology to mechanisms of action

    Stephan, Blossom C. M. (2021)
    The traditional Mediterranean diet (MedDiet), rich in minimally processed plant foods and fish, has been widely recognized to be one of the healthiest diets. Data from multiple randomized clinical trials have demonstrated its powerful effect against oxidative stress, inflammation and the development and progression of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and other metabolic conditions that play a crucial role in the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative diseases. The protecting effects of the MedDiet against cognitive decline have been investigated in several observational and experimental studies. Data from observational studies suggest that the MedDiet may represent an effective dietary strategy for the early prevention of dementia, although these findings require further substantiation in clinical trials which have so far produced inconclusive results. Moreover, as we discuss in this review, accumulating data emphasizes the importance of: 1) maintaining an optimal nutritional and metabolic status for the promotion of healthy cognitive aging, and 2) implementing cognition-sparing dietary and lifestyle interventions during early time-sensitive windows before the pathological cascades turn into an irreversible state. In summary, components of the MedDiet pattern, such as essential fatty acids, polyphenols and vitamins, have been associated with reduced oxidative stress and the current evidence from observational studies seems to assign to the MedDiet a beneficial role in promoting brain health; however, results from clinical trials have been inconsistent. While we advocate for longitudinal analyses and for larger and longer clinical trials to be conducted, we assert our interim support to the use of the MedDiet as a protective dietary intervention for cognitive function based on its proven cardiovascular and metabolic benefits.
  • Motivation and willingness to increase physical activity for dementia risk reduction: Cross-Sectional UK survey with people aged 50 and over

    Jones, Katy A.; Orrell, Martin (2021)
    METHODSAttitudes to increasing physical activity to reduce risk of dementia were assessed in a national online survey promoted via online forums and public adverts. The Motivation to Change Behaviour for Dementia Risk Reduction (MOCHAD-10) scale examined motivation for lifestyle change. Multivariable logistic regression was used to identify the predictors of willingness and motivation to increase physical activity.RESULTSData from 3,948 individuals showed most people were moderately/very physically active (80%). People more likely to be physically active had better health and education, were older, male, and had a partner. People willing to increase physical activity (73%) were more likely to be younger, non-White, underweight, had better health and lifestyles, and had experience caring for someone with dementia. People with higher levels of motivation to change lifestyle (MOCHAD-10 subscales) were more likely to be female, younger, in poorer physical/mental health, had lower perceived mental activity, and were a carer for someone with dementia.CONCLUSIONMen and those with better health status were more physically active. Those who exercised less and those who were more motivated to increase physical activity were not necessarily able to be physically active. Multisectoral public health strategies should seek to use the high motivation levels among this group to mitigate the barriers related to physical activity for dementia risk reduction.
  • Anticholinergic drugs and risk of dementia: Time for action?

    Orrell, Martin (2021)
    Evidence suggests that the prescription of bladder anticholinergics is increasing. Recent studies have accentuated concerns about whether certain prescribed medications could increase risk of dementia, including anticholinergic drugs, and specifically anticholinergics used for bladder symptoms. Nevertheless, it can be difficult to draw together the evidence to review the case for possible causation. Recognising this issue in 1965, Bradford-Hill set out nine criteria to help assess whether evidence of a causal relationship could be inferred between a presumed cause and an observed effect. In this commentary, we explore the extent to which associations between anticholinergics and dementia satisfy the Bradford-Hill criteria and examine the potential implications. First, we look at studies that have examined the relationship between anticholinergic drugs with urological properties (bladder drugs) and the onset of dementia, and then present those studies which specifically focus on the cognitive effects of bladder drugs that affect muscarinic receptors in the brain versus the bladder on older people along with suggestions for future research. We also discuss the risks and benefits of these drugs for treating overactive bladder. If it can be shown that certain medications carry a specific risk of dementia, it is possible that initiatives to change prescribing could become a key tool in reducing the risk of dementia and may be easier to implement than some lifestyle changes.
  • Feasibility and acceptability of a multi-domain intervention to increase Mediterranean diet adherence and physical activity in older UK adults at risk of dementia: protocol for the MedEx-UK randomised controlled trial

    Stephan, Blossom C. M. (2021)
    INTRODUCTION: Dementia prevalence continues to increase, and effective interventions are needed to prevent, delay or slow its progression. Higher adherence to the Mediterranean diet (MedDiet) and increased physical activity (PA) have been proposed as strategies to facilitate healthy brain ageing and reduce dementia risk. However, to date, there have been no dementia prevention trials in the UK focussed on combined dietary and PA interventions. This study aims to: (1) assess feasibility and acceptability of a theory-underpinned digital and group-based intervention for dementia risk reduction in an 'at risk' UK cohort; (2) evaluate behaviour change responses to the intervention; and, (3) provide information on cognitive, neurological, vascular and physiological outcomes to inform the design of a follow-on, full-scale efficacy trial. METHODS: One hundred and eight participants aged 55 to 74 years with a QRISK2 score of ≥10% will be recruited to take part in this 24-week multi-site study. Participants will be randomised into three parallel arms: (1) Control; (2) MedDiet; and, (3) MedDiet+PA. The study will evaluate a personalised website, group session and food delivery intervention to increase MedDiet adherence and PA in older adults at risk of dementia. Diet and PA will be monitored prior to, during and following the intervention. Feasibility, acceptability and hypothesised mediators will be assessed in addition to measures of cognitive function, brain structure/perfusion (MRI), vascular function and metabolic markers (blood, urine and faecal) prior to, and following, the intervention. DISCUSSION: This trial will provide insights into the feasibility, acceptability and mechanism of effect of a multi-domain intervention focussed on the MedDiet alone and PA for dementia risk reduction in an 'at risk' UK cohort. ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: The study has received NHS REC and HRA approval (18/NI/0191). Findings will be disseminated via conference presentations, public lectures, and peer-reviewed publications. TRIAL REGISTRATION DETAILS: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT03673722.
  • Digital approaches to music-making for people with dementia in response to the COVID-19 pandemic: Current practice and recommendations

    Dowson, Becky; Schneider, Justine (2021)
    Before COVID-19, dementia singing groups and choirs flourished, providing activity, cognitive stimulation, and social support for thousands of people with dementia in the UK. Interactive music provides one of the most effective psychosocial interventions for people with dementia; it can allay agitation and promote wellbeing. Since COVID-19 has halted the delivery of in-person musical activities, it is important for the welfare of people with dementia and their carers to investigate what alternatives to live music making exist, how these alternatives are delivered and how their accessibility can be expanded. This community case study examines recent practice in online music-making in response to COVID-19 restrictions for people with dementia and their supporters, focusing on a UK context. It documents current opportunities for digital music making, and assesses the barriers and facilitators to their delivery and accessibility. Online searches of video streaming sites and social media documented what music activities were available. Expert practitioners and providers collaborated on this study and supplied input about the sessions they had been delivering, the technological challenges and solutions they had found, and the responses of the participants. Recommendations for best practice were developed and refined in consultation with these collaborators. Over 50 examples of online music activities were identified. In addition to the challenges of digital inclusion and accessibility for some older people, delivering live music online has unique challenges due to audio latency and sound quality. It is necessary to adapt the session to the technology's limitations rather than expect to overcome these challenges. The recommendations highlight the importance of accessibility, digital safety and wellbeing of participants. They also suggest ways to optimize the quality of their musical experience. The pandemic has prompted innovative approaches to deliver activities and interventions in a digital format, and people with dementia and their carers have adapted rapidly. While online music is meeting a clear current need for social connection and cognitive stimulation, it also offers some advantages which remain relevant after COVID-19 restrictions are relaxed. The recommendations of this study are intended to be useful to musicians, dementia care practitioners, and researchers during the pandemic and beyond.
  • Challenges in disclosing and receiving a diagnosis of dementia: a systematic review of practice from the perspectives of people with dementia, carers, and healthcare professionals

    Yates, Jennifer A.; Stanyon, Miriam R. (2021)
    BACKGROUND: Disclosing a diagnosis of dementia is a key process involving people with dementia, carers, and healthcare professionals (HCPs) that can facilitate access to treatment and support. Receiving a diagnosis of dementia may represent a change in identity and loss of a planned-for future, resulting in an emotional impact for both people with dementia and carers. Delivering the diagnosis of dementia can be difficult and draining for HCPs. METHODS: We conducted a systematic review that included studies which explored the experience of giving or receiving a diagnosis of dementia from the perspectives of people with dementia, carers, or HCPs. All study designs were eligible except for previous literature reviews. Findings were analyzed thematically and grouped into categories and then synthesized into a narrative review. The quality of all included studies was assessed. RESULTS: Fifty-two studies were included in this review. Findings indicated that receiving a diagnosis is generally a negative process for people with dementia, carers, and HCPs and leaves carers in particular feeling uncertain over the prognosis and future of the person they care for. Disclosing a diagnosis of dementia is a difficult and complex process, for which formal training and guidance is lacking. Carers in particular would welcome more opportunity for realistic and hopeful discussions of the implications of receiving a diagnosis of dementia. CONCLUSIONS: Changes in some aspects of disclosure, such as providing a truthful diagnosis to the person with dementia, have occurred over the last decade. A process approach involving pre-diagnostic counseling and follow-up appointments could enable discussions regarding prognosis and the future, create opportunities to clarify the diagnosis, and reduce emotional burden on HCPs. There is a need for more objective evidence that considers the perspectives of all individuals involved.
  • The experience of apathy in dementia: A qualitative study

    Yates, Jennifer A.; Dening, Tom (2021)
    We aimed to explore and gain an understanding into how people with dementia experience apathy, and consequently suggest effective interventions to help them and their carers. Twelve participants (6 dyads of 6 people with dementia and their family carers) were recruited from “memory cafes” (meeting groups for people with dementia and their families), social groups, seminars, and patient and public involvement (PPI) meetings. People with dementia and their carers were interviewed separately and simultaneously. Quantitative data were collected using validated scales for apathy, cognition, anxiety, and depression. The interviews were semi-structured, focusing on the subjective interpretation of apathy and impacts on behaviour, habits, hobbies, relationships, mood, and activities of daily living. Interviews were recorded and transcribed. Transcripts were analysed using interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA), which generated codes and patterns that were collated into themes. Four major themes were identified, three of which highlighted the challenging aspects of apathy. One described the positive aspects of the individuals’ efforts to overcome apathy and remain connected with the world and people around them. This study is the first to illustrate the subjective experience of apathy in dementia, portraying it as a more complex and active phenomenon than previously assumed. Apathy and its effects warrant more attention from clinicians, researchers, and others involved in dementia care.
  • An individual cognitive stimulation therapy app for people with dementia and their carers: Protocol for a feasibility randomized controlled trial

    Rai, Harleen; Schneider, Justine; Orrell, Martin (2021)
    BACKGROUND: There is a need for more resources to support the cognition and quality of life of people with dementia. The individual cognitive stimulation therapy (iCST) app aims to provide cognitive stimulation and social interaction to people with dementia and carers through interactive touchscreen technology. The iCST app has been developed according to the principles of CST and iCST, which have previously shown to improve the cognition and quality of life of people with dementia and benefit the relationship between the person with dementia and his/her carer. The iCST app has also shown to improve the quality of the carer's life. OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study is to evaluate the usability of the iCST app intervention and the feasibility of conducting a full-scale randomized controlled trial (RCT) to assess the clinical effectiveness of the iCST app intervention compared to that of treatment-as-usual for people with mild-to-moderate dementia. METHODS: We aim to recruit 60 people with mild-to-moderate dementia and their informal carers as dyads in a multi-center feasibility RCT with a treatment-as-usual control group. Both parties must be able to provide informed consent and participate in the intervention. Dyads will complete a baseline assessment that will include cognition and quality of life measures and they will subsequently be randomized (1:1) to the iCST app intervention in addition to usual care or to usual care only. All participants will be followed up at 5 weeks and at 11 weeks after the baseline assessments. A range of feasibility outcomes will be assessed, including recruitment and retention rates, intervention fidelity and usability, and acceptability of the outcome measures. A sample of the experimental group will be invited to a semistructured posttrial interview to further examine the experience of using the iCST app. RESULTS: This study received funding in May 2015 and obtained ethical approval in March 2018. Data collection began in November 2018 and was completed in March 2020 with a total of 61 dyads recruited. Data analyses are in progress and the final results are expected to be available in the spring of 2021. CONCLUSIONS: This study will investigate whether it is feasible to conduct a full-scale RCT to evaluate the clinical effectiveness of the iCST app in comparison to that of usual care alone. In addition, this study will examine the usability of the iCST app. The data will provide information on potential modifications to be made to the intervention, study design, and study process. TRIAL REGISTRATION: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT03282877; https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT03282877. INTERNATIONAL REGISTERED REPORT IDENTIFIER (IRRID): DERR1-10.2196/24628.
  • Exploring the feasibility of an individual cognitive stimulation therapy application and related technology for use by people with dementia and carers in Indonesia: A mixed-method study

    Rai, Harleen; Schneider, Justine; Orrell, Martin (2021)
    BACKGROUNDCognitive stimulation therapy (CST) is a psychosocial intervention for people with dementia and can benefit cognition and quality of life. A touch-screen individualised CST (iCST) application has been developed to improve on accessibility and provide increased interactivity. This study aimed to explore the attitudes of people with dementia, carers and healthcare professionals in Indonesia towards the iCST application and related technology.METHODSFour focus groups were organised: one comprising family carers (n = 3), two comprising people with dementia and family carers (n = 12) and one made up of family carers and home care workers (n = 3). Participants discussed the uses of technology, tried out the iCST application and completed a usability and acceptability questionnaire. Furthermore, 21 healthcare professionals attended an expert meeting to discuss the potential of implementing the iCST application in the community.RESULTSAttitudes towards technology were positive but lack of experience, difficulties with operating devices and a limited infrastructure to support technology were described as barriers. The iCST application was seen as an interesting tool to support mental stimulation. Compared with people with dementia, carers were more willing to use the application and rated its usability higher. Healthcare professionals were positive about the interactive features of the application and judged that it could be useful within the family context.DISCUSSIONLow-cost and low-infrastructure technology like iCST can meet the needs for stimulation of people with dementia in Indonesia and other countries. By understanding the attitudes of people with dementia and carers towards IT and their willingness to adopt technology like the iCST application, we are better placed to overcome potential obstacles to its implementation. It appears that systemic changes are needed to facilitate wider use of IT particularly in dementia care. These include needs to empower end users, strengthen access and connectivity to technology, and improve diagnostic support.
  • Associations between unmet needs for daytime activities and company and scores on the Neuropsychiatric Inventory-Questionnaire in people with dementia: a longitudinal study

    Orrell, Martin (2021)
    OBJECTIVES: To examine prospectively the association between unmet needs for daytime activities and company and behavioural and psychological symptoms of dementia. METHODS: We included 451 people with mild or moderate dementia, from eight European countries, who were assessed three times over 12 months. Unmet needs were measured with the Camberwell Assessment of Need for the Elderly. Three sub-syndromes of the Neuropsychiatric Inventory-Questionnaire were regressed, one-by-one, against unmet needs for daytime activities and company, adjusting for demographic and clinical-functional covariates. RESULTS: Unmet needs for daytime activities were associated with more affective symptoms at baseline, six and twelve months, mean 0.74 (p < 0.001), 0.76 (p < 0.001) and 0.78 (p = 0.001) points higher score respectively, and with more psychotic symptoms at baseline (mean 0.39 points, p = 0.007) and at six months follow-up (mean 0.31 points, p = 0.006). Unmet needs for company were associated with more affective symptoms at baseline, six and twelve months, mean 0.44 (p = 0.033), 0.67 (p < 0.001) and 0.91 (p < 0.001) points higher score respectively, and with more psychotic symptoms at baseline (mean 0.40 points, p = 0.005) and at six months (mean 0.35 points, p = 0.002) follow-up. CONCLUSION: Interventions to reduce unmet needs for daytime activities and company could reduce affective and psychotic symptoms in people with dementia.
  • Collaborative knowledge sharing in developing and evaluating a training programme for health professionals to implement a social intervention in dementia research

    Orrell, Martin (2021)
    Purpose: This study aims to explore the utility of collaborative knowledge sharing with stakeholders in developing and evaluating a training programme for health professionals to implement a social intervention in dementia research. Design/methodology/approach: The programme consisted of two phases: 1) development phase guided by the Buckley and Caple’s training model and 2) evaluation phase drew on the Kirkpatrick’s evaluation model. Survey and interview data was collected from health professionals, people with dementia and their supporters who attended the training programme, delivered or participated in the intervention. Qualitative data was analysed using the framework analysis. Findings: Seven health professionals participated in consultations in the development phase. In the evaluation phase, 20 intervention facilitators completed the post one-day training evaluations and three took part in the intervention interviews. Eight people with dementia and their supporters from the promoting independence in dementia feasibility study participated in focus groups interviews. The findings show that intervention facilitators were satisfied with the training programme. They learnt new knowledge and skills through an interactive learning environment and demonstrated competencies in motivating people with dementia to engage in the intervention. As a result, this training programme was feasible to train intervention facilitators. Practical implications: The findings could be implemented in other research training contexts where those delivering research interventions have professional skills but do not have knowledge of the theories and protocols of a research intervention. Originality/value: This study provided insights into the value of collaborative knowledge sharing between academic researchers and multiple non-academic stakeholders that generated knowledge and maximised power through building new capacities and alliances. © 2021, Emerald Publishing Limited.
  • Promoting independence in Dementia (PRIDE): A feasibility randomized controlled trial

    Orrell, Martin (2021)
    Background: There is a need for interventions to foster and maintain independence for people with dementia to support community living, improve morale, and reduce stigma. We investigated a social intervention to promote living well and enhance independence for people with mild dementia. Methods: In this two arm parallel group, feasibility RCT at six sites in England, participants were randomized (1:1) to the PRIDE intervention (encompassing social, physical, and cognitive domains supported by a facilitator over three sessions) compared to usual care only. The main objective was to determine the feasibility of a main trial with respect to measures of recruitment, retention, and adherence to the intervention. Results: During a 7-month period, 402 people were invited to the trial, 148 were screened (37%, 95% confidence interval (CI)=32–42%), 137 were eligible at pre-consent, 94 consented to the trial (69% of those eligible, 95% CI=60–76%), and 92 were randomized (46 to each group). Of those allocated to the intervention, 42 (91%) received at least one of three intervention sessions. Outcome assessment follow-up visits were completed for 73 participants at 6 months (79%, 95% CI=70–87%), and this was similar for both groups. Conclusion: A large multi-center trial of the PRIDE intervention in community-dwelling people with mild dementia is feasible using systematic recruitment strategies. The intervention was successfully delivered and well received by participants. Findings from this study will be used to refine the design and processes for a definitive RCT. Trial Registration: ISRCTN, ISRCTN11288961, registered on 23 October 2018. © 2021 Csipke et al.
  • Assessing fidelity of a community based psychosocial intervention for people with mild dementia within a large randomised controlled trial

    Majid, Shazmin (2021)
    Background: Understanding intervention delivery as intended, particularly in complex interventions, should be underpinned by good quality fidelity assessment. We present the findings from a fidelity assessment embedded as part of a trial of a complex community-based psychosocial intervention, Journeying through Dementia (JtD). The intervention was designed to equip individuals with the knowledge and skills to successfully self-manage, maintain independence, and live well with dementia and involves both group and individual sessions. The methodological challenges of developing a conceptual framework for fidelity assessment and creating and applying purposely designed measures derived from this framework are discussed to inform future studies.Methods: A conceptual fidelity framework was created out of core components of the intervention (including the intervention manual and training for delivery), associated trial protocols and pre-defined fidelity standards and criteria against which intervention delivery and receipt could be measured. Fidelity data collection tools were designed and piloted for reliability and usability. Data collection in four selected sites (fidelity sites) was via non-participatory observations of the group aspect of the intervention, attendance registers and interventionist (facilitator and supervisor) self-report.Results: Interventionists from all four fidelity sites attended intervention training. The majority of group participants at the four sites (71%) received the therapeutic dose of 10 out of 16 sessions. Weekly group meeting attendance (including at 'out of venue' sessions) was excellent at 80%. Additionally, all but one individual session was attended by the participants who completed the intervention. It proved feasible to create tools derived from the fidelity framework to assess in-venue group aspects of this complex intervention. Results of fidelity assessment of the observed groups were good with substantial inter-rater reliability between researchers KAPPA 0.68 95% CI (0.58-0.78). Self-report by interventionists concurred with researcher assessments.Conclusions: There was good fidelity to training and delivery of the group aspect of the intervention at four sites. However, the methodological challenges of assessing all aspects of this complex intervention could not be overcome due to practicalities, assessment methods and ethical considerations. Questions remain regarding how we can assess fidelity in community-based complex interventions without impacting upon intervention or trial delivery.Trial Registration: ISRCTN17993825 .
  • Does insulin resistance influence neurodegeneration in non-diabetic Alzheimer's subjects?

    Junaid, Kehinde (2021)
    BackgroundType 2 diabetes is a risk factor for Alzheimer's disease (AD), and AD brain shows impaired insulin signalling. The role of peripheral insulin resistance on AD aetiopathogenesis in non-diabetic patients is still debated. Here we evaluated the influence of insulin resistance on brain glucose metabolism, grey matter volume and white matter lesions (WMLs) in non-diabetic AD subjects.MethodsIn total, 130 non-diabetic AD subjects underwent MRI and [18F]FDG PET scans with arterial cannula insertion for radioactivity measurement. T1 Volumetric and FLAIR sequences were acquired on a 3-T MRI scanner. These subjects also had measurement of glucose and insulin levels after a 4-h fast on the same day of the scan. Insulin resistance was calculated by the updated homeostatic model assessment (HOMA2). For [18F]FDG analysis, cerebral glucose metabolic rate (rCMRGlc) parametric images were generated using spectral analysis with arterial plasma input function.ResultsIn this non-diabetic AD population, HOMA2 was negatively associated with hippocampal rCMRGlc, along with total grey matter volumes. No significant correlation was observed between HOMA2, hippocampal volume and WMLs.ConclusionsIn non-diabetic AD, peripheral insulin resistance is independently associated with reduced hippocampal glucose metabolism and with lower grey matter volume, suggesting that peripheral insulin resistance might influence AD pathology by its action on cerebral glucose metabolism and on neurodegeneration.

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