A recent randomised controlled trial on Cognitive Stimulation Therapy (CST) identified the need to evaluate its more long-term benefits for people with dementia. This study evaluates the effectiveness of a weekly maintenance CST programme for people with dementia in residential care.
Thirty-five people with dementia were included, following on from a seven-week twice-weekly study of CST. The maintenance CST sessions ran in two residential homes using a once a week programme of CST over an additional 16 weeks. Two control homes did not receive the maintenance intervention.
Using repeated measures ANOVAS, there was a continuous, significant improvement in cognitive function (MMSE) for those receiving MCST (CST+maintenance CST sessions) as compared to CST alone or no treatment (p = 0.012). There were no effects on quality of life, behaviour or communication following maintenance sessions. The initial cognitive improvements following CST were only sustained at follow-up when followed by the programme of maintenance CST sessions.
The cognitive benefits of CST can be maintained by weekly sessions for around 6 months. A large-scale, multi-centre maintenance CST trial is required to clarify potential longer-term benefits of maintenance CST for dementia. Copyright © 2005 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.