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Utilization, effect, and benefit of the individualized Meeting Centers Support Program for people with dementia and caregivers

Authors Dröes RM, van Rijn A, Rus E, Dacier S, Meiland F

Received 19 April 2019

Accepted for publication 4 July 2019

Published 26 August 2019 Volume 2019:14 Pages 1527—1553


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Richard Walker

Rose-Marie Dröes,1,2 Annelies van Rijn,1 Eline Rus,3 Seghoslène Dacier,4 Franka Meiland1,4,5

1Department of Psychiatry, Amsterdam University Medical Centers, Location Vumc, Amsterdam Public Health Research Institute, Amsterdam, The Netherlands; 2Department of Research and Innovation, Regional Mental Health Organization Ggzingeest, Amsterdam, The Netherlands; 3Department of Clinical Pyschology, Faculty of Behavior and Movement Sciences, VU University, Amsterdam, The Netherlands; 4Department of Neuropsychology, Faculty of Behavior and Movement Sciences, VU University, Amsterdam, The Netherlands; 5Gerion, Department of General Practice and Elderly Care Medicine, Amsterdam University Medical Centers, Location Vumc, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Correspondence: Rose-Marie Dröes
Department of Psychiatry, Amsterdam UMC, location VUmc, GGZ-inGeest Dienst onderzoek en innovatie, Oldenaller 1, 1081 HJ Amsterdam, Postbox 74077, Amsterdam 1070 BB, the Netherlands
Tel +31 20 788 5454

Purpose: There are few interventions on an individual basis to support community-dwelling people with dementia to continue to fulfill their potential in society and to support their informal caregivers via e-Health. This study explored the effectiveness of the individualized Meeting Centers Support Program (iMCSP) consisting of DemenTalent (people with dementia work as volunteers in a society based on their talents), Dementelcoach (telephone coaching), and STAR e-Learning for caregivers, compared to regular MCSP and No day care support.
Method: An explorative randomized controlled trial with pre/post measurements (M0-M6) and two groups (iMCSP and regular MCSP). In addition, a comparison was made between iMCSP and a reference No day care control group. Standardized questionnaires were administered on self-esteem, neuropsychiatric symptoms, experienced autonomy and quality of life of the person with dementia, and on caregiver’s sense of competence, quality of life, and happiness.
Results: The iMCSP interventions resulted in a broader group of participants utilizing the Meeting Centers. Compared to regular MCSP, DemenTalent had a moderate positive effect on neuropsychiatric symptoms, which also proved less severe. Positive affect of participants improved within the DemenTalent and regular MCSP group after six months. Caregivers of DemenTalent participants experienced less emotional impact of neuropsychiatric symptoms. No differences were found in experienced burden, sense of competence, or quality of life in caregivers using iMCSP or regular MCSP. Compared to those receiving No day care support, caregivers of DemenTalent participants and caregivers using Dementelcoach or STAR e-Learning proved happier. Post-hoc analyses, accounting for potential between-group differences in outcome measures at baseline, generally showed results in the same direction. People with dementia and caregivers highly appreciated iMCSP and regular MCSP.
Conclusion: iMCSP can be effectively applied as alternative or additional support via regular Meeting Centers for people with dementia and caregivers who prefer individualized activities/support. DemenTalent decreased the severity of neuropsychiatric symptoms of people with dementia and emotional burden of caregivers. All iMCSP interventions tended to result in caregivers being happier compared to those receiving no support. Larger-scale studies are needed to investigate the effect of iMCSP on other domains of quality of life of participants.

Keywords: individualized support, DemenTalent, telephone coaching, e-Learning, neuropsychiatric symptoms, emotional burden caregivers

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