Promoting activity, independence and stability in early dementia and mild cognitive impairment (PrAISED): development of an intervention for people with mild cognitive impairment and dementia

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This series of articles for rehabilitation in practice aims to cover a knowledge element of the rehabilitation medicine curriculum. Nevertheless, they are intended to be of interest to a multidisciplinary audience. The competency addressed in this article is an understanding of how to develop an intervention for people with mild cognitive impairment and dementia to promote their independence, stability, and physical activity.Introduction:Older adults with dementia are at a high risk of falls. Standard interventions have not been shown to be effective in this patient population potentially due to poor consideration of dementia-specific risk factors. An intervention is required that addresses the particular needs of older people with dementia in a community setting.Methods:We followed guidelines for the development of an intervention, which recommend a structured approach considering theory, evidence and practical issues. The process used 15 information sources. Data from literature reviews, clinician workshops, expert opinion meetings, patient-relative interviews, focus groups with people with dementia and clinicians, a cross-sectional survey of risk factors, a pre-post intervention study and case studies were included. Data were synthesized using triangulation to produce an intervention suitable for feasibility testing. Practical consideration of how an intervention could be delivered and implemented were considered from the outset.Results:Elements of the intervention included individually tailored, dementia-appropriate, balance, strength and dual-task exercises, functional training, and activities aimed at improving environmental access, delivered using a motivational approach to support adherence and long-term continuation of activity. We focussed on promoting safe activity rather than risk or prevention of falls.Conclusion:We used a systematic process to develop a dementia-specific intervention to promote activity and independence while reducing falls risk in older adults with mild dementia.

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