A pilot randomised controlled trial to compare changes in quality of life for participants with early diagnosis dementia who attend a 'Living Well with Dementia' group compared to waiting-list control.

Research paper by Ann A Marshall, John J Spreadbury, Richard R Cheston, Peter P Coleman, Claire C Ballinger, Mark M Mullee, Jane J Pritchard, Cynthia C Russell, Elizabeth E Bartlett

Indexed on: 10 Sep '14Published on: 10 Sep '14Published in: Aging & mental health


The aim of this paper is to report a pilot study in which participants who had recently received a diagnosis of dementia were randomised to either a 10-week group intervention or a waiting-list control.Memory clinic staff with limited previous experience of group therapy were trained to lead a 10-week group therapy intervention called 'Living Well with Dementia'. Fifty-eight participants, all of whom had received a diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease, vascular or Lewy body dementia within the previous 18 months, were randomised to receive either the intervention or treatment as usual (waiting-list control). Data collection occurred at baseline, within two weeks after the intervention finished and at 10-week follow-up.The study met its recruitment targets, with a relatively low attrition rate for the intervention arm. The acceptability of the intervention and research methods was examined qualitatively and will be reported on elsewhere. For the primary outcome, measure of quality of life in Alzheimer's disease (QoL-AD), and secondary outcome, self-esteem, there was some evidence of improvement in the intervention group compared to the control group. There was, also, evidence of a reduction in cognitive functioning in the treatment group compared to the control. Such reported differences should be treated with caution because they are obtained from a pilot and not a definitive study.This pilot study succeeded in collecting data to inform a future definitive cost effectiveness clinical trial of Living Well with Dementia group therapy.