Effects of a family caregiver-delivered multi-sensory cognitive stimulation intervention for older people with dementia during COVID-19: A randomized controlled trial

Pui Kin Kor, Laurence Lloyd Parial, Clare Tsz Kiu Yu, Yat Wa Justina Liu, Denise Pik Mei Liu, Joan Mo King Hon

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

Abstract

Background and Objectives
Many community dementia services such as home-visiting services and center-based activities were suspended during the COVID-19 pandemic. This study investigated the efficacy of a caregiver-delivered cognitive stimulation therapy (CDCST) on people with dementia during the pandemic.

Research Design and Methods
This was a two-arm randomized controlled trial involving 241 patient-caregiver dyads assigned to a 15-week CDCST or control group (usual care). We hypothesized that CDCST would facilitate significant improvements among people with dementia (cognition, behavioral/psychiatric symptoms, quality of life) and their caregivers (caregiving appraisal, attitudes, psychological well-being) at post-intervention (T1) and at the 12-week follow-up (T2). Generalized estimating equations evaluated the study outcomes.

Results
A total of 230 dyads completed the study, with good program adherence (93%). Participants in the CDCST showed significant improvements in cognition (p < .001), behavioral and psychiatric symptoms (p = .027), and quality of life (p = .001) at the 3-month follow-up period. Family caregivers had improved positive aspects of caregiving (p = .008; p = .049) and decreased negative attitudes toward people with dementia (p = .013; p < .001) at both T1 and T2. There were non-significant changes in the caregivers’ perceived burden, distress, and psychological well-being.

Discussion and Implications
Family caregivers could be trained to provide cognitive stimulation at home for people with dementia, which could benefit both parties. CDCST could manage to improve the cognition, neuropsychiatric symptoms, and quality of life of people with dementia, while also improving caregiving appraisal and negative attitudes among family caregivers.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbergnad054
JournalThe Gerontologist
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 14 May 2023

Keywords

  • caregiver-led interventions
  • cognitive impairment
  • Neuropsychiatric symptoms

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