Preliminary Findings of an Active Multicomponent Lifestyle Intervention for People with Dementia and Their Carers: Mixed Methods Study

Nathan M D'Cunha, Michelle Bennett, Rachael Mitterfellner, Rosalie Brennan, Lara Wiseman, Stephen Isbel, Kasia Bail, Louise Barrett, Kathleen Rutherford, Ian Huang, Diane Gibson

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There is a need for integrated and effective postdiagnostic rehabilitation programs for community-dwelling people with dementia and their carers to promote their quality of life and management of dementia. Here, we report on preliminary findings of the Sustainable Personalised Interventions for Cognition, Care, and Engagement (SPICE) Program conducted in Canberra, Australia. Over twelve weeks, six people with dementia and their carers completed five hours of weekly small group activities and separate individual appointments. SPICE is an active therapeutic intervention with five components delivered by allied health professionals: (1) cognitive stimulation therapy; (2) carer education, support, and capacity building; (3) physical activity; (4) Care Of People with dementia in their Environments (COPE) program; and (5) dietary assessment and advice. Participants completed questionnaires pre- and post-intervention and a program evaluation interview which was analysed by qualitative thematic analysis. The program demonstrated high program satisfaction ratings and program adherence (94% people with dementia and 92% carers) which supports intervention feasibility. The results of quantitative outcome measures suggest positive effects, but inferences cannot be drawn due to small sample size. Qualitative themes from participant experiences highlighted the following: (1) social connection, engagement, and interaction were key drivers of the success of the program; (2) clinicians fostered a positive and respectful culture; (3) carers were supported with strategies and skills to reframe dementia; and (4) reablement can be fun. The new combination of evidence-based interventions was feasible and considered valuable. Further results are required to confirm these findings and support a longer-term trial.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-13
Number of pages13
JournalHealth and Social Care in the Community
Publication statusPublished - 10 Aug 2023


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