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Psychosocial therapy for Parkinson's-related dementia: intervention development

Authors McCormick SA, McDonald KR, Vatter S, Orgeta V, Poliakoff E, Smith SJ, Leroi I

Received 2 June 2017

Accepted for publication 27 July 2017

Published 20 October 2017 Volume 2017:12 Pages 1779—1789


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Richard Walker

Sheree A McCormick,1,2,* Kathryn R McDonald,1,2,* Sabina Vatter,1–3 Vasiliki Orgeta,4 Ellen Poliakoff,1,2 Sarah J Smith,5 Iracema Leroi1–3

1Division of Neuroscience and Experimental Psychology, University of Manchester, Manchester, UK; 2Manchester Academic Health Science Center (MAHSC), Manchester, UK; 3Greater Manchester Mental Health Foundation Trust, Manchester, UK; 4Division of Psychiatry, University College London, London, UK; 5Faculty of Health Studies, University of Bradford, Bradford, UK

*These authors contributed equally to this work

Background: Group-based psychosocial therapy, such as group Cognitive Stimulation Therapy, improves cognition and quality of life in people living with dementia. Neuropsychiatric symptoms and restricted mobility are common complications for people with Parkinson’s-related dementia (PRD) and may limit access to, and participation in, group activities. This study describes the development of a condition-specific, home-based psychosocial therapy for people with PRD ready to be trialled in a clinical population.
Methods: By means of a multistage process, a draft therapy manual was developed in an iterative manner through collaboration with medical experts, researchers and Patient and Public Involvement (PPI) representatives. In stage 1, an extensive literature search of psychosocial therapies for dementia with potential relevance for Parkinson’s disease (PD) was undertaken to select a candidate therapy for adaptation. In stage 2, qualitative feedback from stakeholders and intelligence regarding existing nonpharmacological therapies for cognitive impairment in PD was combined to produce a prototype therapy manual. In stage 3, the manual was field tested in: 1) a home-setting using a 25-item assessment tool; and 2) at a local PD support group with PPI representatives. Based on the feedback from this phase, final design modifications were implemented and a draft therapy manual produced.
Results: The manual was developed in an iterative manner. Interview and focus group transcripts identified three enduring themes: manual form and content, therapy acceptability by people with PRD, and companion guidance and support. Major adaptations included: removal of discrete levels of task complexity, removal of images that were potentially hallucinogenic or lacked clarity, and updating of the content.
Conclusion: We have successfully developed a Cognitive Stimulation Therapy-based psychosocial therapy specifically adapted for people with PRD. The therapy is ready to trial in a pilot randomized controlled study.

Keywords: Parkinson’s disease, cognitive stimulation, MRC framework, intervention development

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