An evaluation of Cognitive Stimulation Therapy sessions for people with dementia and a concomitant support group for their carers

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Abstract

This research aimed to ascertain the impact of a pragmatic Cognitive Stimulation Therapy course of 10 sessions on the cognitive function of people living with dementia and whether attending a concomitant carers support group was beneficial to carers. A mixed method quasi-experimental approach was adopted; data were collected pre- and post-intervention. The quantitative arm utilised three validated questionnaires rated by the carers. Qualitative data were collected via semi-structured interviews with carers regarding their perceptions of the impact of Cognitive Stimulation Therapy and the carers support group. Quantitative data analysis found no statistically significant differences within or between groups. The qualitative data demonstrated that carers perceived Cognitive Stimulation Therapy had some benefits for the people living with dementia, especially social benefits. Carers also perceived that attending the carers support group was beneficial for them in terms of gaining a better understanding of dementia, developing coping skills and having peer support. The study was limited in scale and further research with a larger sample, using direct measures of the impact of Cognitive Stimulation Therapy with people living with dementia and supplementary research exploring which characteristic of carers support groups are effective would be worthwhile.

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