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Outcomes of a multimodal cognitive and physical rehabilitation program for persons with mild dementia and their caregivers: a goal-oriented approach

Authors Chew J, Chong MS, Fong Y, Tay L

Received 6 August 2015

Accepted for publication 16 September 2015

Published 22 October 2015 Volume 2015:10 Pages 1687—1694


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 4

Editor who approved publication: Dr Richard Walker

Justin Chew, Mei-Sian Chong, Yoke-Leng Fong, Laura Tay

Department of Geriatric Medicine, Institute of Geriatrics and Active Ageing, Tan Tock Seng Hospital, Singapore, Singapore

Background: Nonpharmacological interventions such as exercise and cognitive rehabilitation programs have shown promise in reducing the impact of dementia on the individual and the caregiver. In this study, we examine the effect of a multimodal cognitive and physical rehabilitation program for persons with mild dementia and their caregivers using conventional measures of cognition, behavior, quality of life (QoL), and caregiver burden together with goal attainment scaling (GAS), an individualized outcome measure.
Methods: Goals were set at baseline, and GAS score was calculated at the end of the program. Participants were also assessed with the Chinese Mini-Mental State Examination, functional and behavioral scales (Barthel Index), Instrumental Activities of Daily Living, Neuropsychiatric Inventory Questionnaire, QoL, and caregiver burden using EuroQol-five dimension questionnaire and Zarit Burden Interview (ZBI). Differences in median scores postintervention were obtained. Further analysis of caregiver burden was undertaken utilizing the multidimensional classification of burden on the ZBI.
Results: Thirty-four (61.8%) patients were assessed to have met their goals (GAS score ≥50). Mean (standard deviation) GAS score was 48.6 (6.5). Cognition goals were set in only 20.6%, followed by goals to improve engagement and socialization; reduce caregiver stress; and improve physical function, behavior, and mood. Median scores in the cognitive, functional, and QoL measures did not differ significantly pre- and postintervention. The intervention had a positive impact on role strain, a unique dimension of caregiver burden.
Conclusion: This study provides evidence that a multimodal approach combining physical exercise and cognitive rehabilitation improves goal attainment and caregiver burden in individuals and caregivers of persons with mild dementia.

Keywords: dementia, rehabilitation, goal attainment scaling

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