A study to determine the feasibility of conducting a future population-based trial into a self-management intervention for community-living adults with early stage dementia included evaluation of intervention content and modes of delivery, staffing requirements, recruitment methods and the utility and usability of patient reported outcomes.
Participants identified through memory clinics in one city took part in an intervention called ‘Journeying through Dementia’. The 12-week programme incorporating four individual sessions with one of the facilitators encourages participants to engage in discussion and activities related to health and well-being positioning them as the expert enabling long-term behavioural change. Participants (n = 10) and their nominated carers (n = 7) were all asked to complete selected outcomes at baseline, 8 weeks (participants only) and post intervention and invited to comment on their usability. All participants and carers were qualitatively interviewed before intervention delivery about their expectations and participants; nominated carers and facilitators were all interviewed after cessation about their experiences.
The manualised intervention and modes of delivery proved acceptable to participants and carers. Reported benefits included increased confidence and self-efficacy, engagement in new or lapsed activities and re-engagement in fun and friendships. People with dementia and carers were able to self-complete all outcome measures, but time required to complete the measures is a key factor. Strategies for recruitment need to include direct contact within 24–48 h post invitation to the study. Analysis of data on the primary outcome did not reveal any trends. Facilitators found the training and support to be appropriate and helpful.
The tailored intervention reportedly met the needs of all participants. The study confirmed the need for careful identification and application of patient-reported outcome measures. Outcomes to measure some dimensions of reported benefit are not available.
Current Controlled Trials ISRCTN67209155.
Sprange, K., Mountain, G., Shortland, K., Craig, C., Blackburn, D. J., Bowie, P., …Spencer, M. (2015). Journeying through Dementia, a community-based self-management intervention for people aged 65 years and over: a feasibility study to inform a future trial. Pilot and Feasibility Studies, 1, https://doi.org/10.1186/s40814-015-0039-6