Cognitive Stimulation Therapy (CST) is a well-established group psychosocial intervention for people with dementia. There is evidence that homebased programmes of cognitive stimulation delivered by family caregivers may
benefit both the person and the caregiver. However, no previous studies have
evaluated caregiver-delivered CST. This study aimed to evaluate the effectiveness of a home-based, caregiver-led individual Cognitive Stimulation Therapy (iCST) program in (i) improving cognition and quality of life (QoL) for the person with dementia and (ii) mental and physical health (wellbeing) for the caregiver.
Methods and Findings
A single-blind, pragmatic randomized trial (RCT) at eight study sites across the UK. The intervention and blinded assessment of outcomes were conducted in
participants’ homes. 356 people with mild to moderate dementia and their caregivers recruited from memory services, and community mental health teams. Participants were randomly assigned to iCST (75, 30 minute sessions) or treatment as usual (TAU) control over 25 weeks. iCST sessions consisted of themed activities designed to be mentally stimulating and enjoyable. Caregivers delivering iCST received training and support from an unblind researcher.
Primary outcomes were cognition (Alzheimer’s Disease Assessment Scale –
cognitive [ADAS-Cog]) and self-reported quality of life (QoL) (Quality of Life
Alzheimer’s Disease [QoL-AD]) for the person with dementia, and general health
status (Short Form-12 [SF-12]) for the caregiver. Secondary outcomes included:
quality of the caregiving relationship from the perspectives of the person and of the caregiver (Quality of the Carer Patient Relationships Scale), and health-related QoL (EQ5D) for the caregiver.