Objectives: The MEETINGDEM Project aims to implement an innovative approach to support people with mild-moderate dementia (PWD) and their families in Italy, Poland and UK. This person-centered approach (Meeting Center Support Programme -MCSP-) has already been implemented in the Netherlands and demonstrated benefits (reduced behavioural and mood problems -BPSD-, delayed admission to residential care, higher levels of carer competence and lower levels of burden). MCSP proposes activities to stimulate PWD, support for caregivers (CGS) and actions for both. Our aim is to investigate differences between PWD and CGS partipating in two Italian Centers (Milano Zona 4 , Milano Zona 7; N=26+26) and an Italian control group (CTR -usual care- N=10+10).
Materials and Methods: PWD were recruited according to the Global Deterioration Scale score (GDS: 4-5). Dyads of both groups were assessed at the beginning of participation in the project (T0) and after 7 months (T1) to collect data about behavioural disturbances and distress level through NeuroPsychiatric Inventory (NPI) administration.
Results: At first T0-T1 design was applied (ANCOVA repeated measures 2x2, taking into account the baseline data and potential confounders as covariates). Our preliminary results are from NPI data: CGS Δ distress is statistically different in MCSP vs CTR group (p=0.002; covariates: Center, age, education years, cohabitation); Δ BPSD gravity (FxG) (p=0.034; covariates: Center, age, education years). Applying multiple regression to a four-factor model of NPI about CGS Δ distress we find that in MCSP group ‘Behavioural’ (p=0.015) and ‘Euphoria’ (p=0.019) factors can predict the distress pattern whereas in CTR group only ‘Behavioural’ factor (p=0.022) can predict it.
Discussion: Significant differences were found in perceived distress by caregivers: these first preliminary data support the efficacy of the MCSP approach to sustain caregivers of PWD. A significant difference was also found regarding FxG of BPSD. This finding is in agreement with previous studies demonstrating the efficacy of multidimensional approaches to reduce BPSD.
Conclusion: We present preliminary results about BPSD of PWD and caregiver distress. These results suggest that dementia impact on quality of life of caregivers could be decreased and BPSD could be reduced by combining support for PWD and their carers.
- cognitive stimulation
- quality of life