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Cognitive stimulation therapy (CST) for people with dementia—who benefits most?

Authors

  • E. Aguirre,

    Corresponding author
    1. Research & Development Department, North East London NHS Foundation Trust, London, UK
    • Mental Health Sciences Department, University College London, Charles Bell House, London, UK
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  • Z. Hoare,

    1. North Wales Organisation for Randomised Trials in Health & Social Care, Institute of Medical & Social Care Research (IMSCaR), Bangor University, Bangor, Wales, UK
    2. Research & Development Department, North East London NHS Foundation Trust, London, UK
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  • A. Streater,

    1. Mental Health Sciences Department, University College London, Charles Bell House, London, UK
    2. Research & Development Department, North East London NHS Foundation Trust, London, UK
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  • A. Spector,

    1. Mental Health Sciences Department, University College London, Charles Bell House, London, UK
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  • B. Woods,

    1. DSDC Wales, Bangor University, Bangor, Wales, UK
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  • J. Hoe,

    1. Mental Health Sciences Department, University College London, Charles Bell House, London, UK
    2. Research & Development Department, North East London NHS Foundation Trust, London, UK
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  • M. Orrell

    1. Mental Health Sciences Department, University College London, Charles Bell House, London, UK
    2. Research & Development Department, North East London NHS Foundation Trust, London, UK
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  • Trial registration number: ISRCTN 26286067

Correspondence to: E. Aguirre, E-mail: e.aguirre@ucl.ac.uk

Abstract

Background

The efficacy of cognitive stimulation therapy (CST) has been demonstrated, but little is known about the characteristics of people with dementia, which may predict a more positive response to CST. This study sought to investigate which factors may predict response to CST.

Methods

Two hundred and seventy-two participants with dementia took part in a 7-week CST intervention. Assessments were carried out pre-treatment and post-treatment. The results were compared with those of a previous comparable CST randomised control trial. A comparison of mean scores pre-CST and post-CST groups was undertaken, and contributing factors that predicted change in outcomes were examined.

Results

CST improved cognition and quality of life, and the results showed that the benefits of CST were independent of whether people were taking acetylcholinesteraseinhibitor (AChEI) medication. Increasing age was associated with cognitive benefits, as was female gender. Care home residents improved more than community residents on quality of life, but the community sample seemed to benefit more in relation to behaviour problems.

Conclusions

These results demonstrate that CST improves cognition and quality of life for people with dementia including those already on AChEIs. Older age and being female were associated with increased cognitive benefits from the intervention. Consideration should be given to aspects of CST, which may enhance the benefits for people with dementia who are male and those younger than 80 years. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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