Background: Drug-based therapeutic approaches for Parkinson's disease dementia (PDD) and dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) are moderately effective and not always tolerated. Tailoring psychosocial approaches in PDD and DLB may offer additional support and improve outcomes. We adapted home-based, care partner-delivered Cognitive Stimulation Therapy (CST) for individuals with PDD or DLB and their care partners (CST-PD).
Objective(s): To evaluate the feasibility, acceptability, and tolerability of CST-PD.
Method(s): This randomised controlled trial used mixed methods, including a process evaluation. People with PDD, DLB or mild cognitive impairment in PD (PD-MCI) and their care partners were randomised to 12 weeks of treatment as usual (TAU) or CST-PD. Outcomes were feasibility of the study conduct (i.e., recruitment, retention rate) and acceptability and tolerability of the intervention. Measures included rating scales, researcher field notes, therapy diaries, and exploratory clinical and care partner efficacy measures.
Result(s): The recruitment target was met with 76 consenting participant-dyads. Retention in both arms was high at over 70%. More than 90% of dyads undertook discrete sessions greater than 20 min duration, but the average number of sessions completed was lower than the recommended dose. Acceptability ratings (i.e., interest, motivation and sense of achievement) of the intervention were high. Participants reported no serious adverse events related to the intervention.
Conclusion(s): The field of psychosocial interventions for PDD and DLB is newly emerging, and we demonstrated that this type of intervention is acceptable and well tolerated. Evaluating its clinical effectiveness in a full-scale randomized controlled clinical trial is warranted. Trial registration number: The trial is a psychosocial intervention with an allocated ISRCTN number 11455062.