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Evidence-Based

Interventions to
Improve Quality of
Life for Individuals
with Dementia
OUTLINE
Introduction
Components of Good QOL for Individuals with
Dementia
Interventions to Decrease Depressive Symptoms and
Increase Pleasant Events
Interventions to Maintain ADL Functioning
Interventions to Maintain Physical Strength and
Mobility
Interventions to Maintain Cognitive Functioning
New Directions and Innovative Interventions for
Improving QOL in Dementia
Conclusion
Quality of Life
Central goal of treatment with
dementia
4 Empirically Derived Components of Good QOL for
Individuals with Dementia

1. Depression and Pleasant Activities


2. Activities of Daily Living
3. Physical Functioning and Mobility
4. Cognitive Functioning
How Can We Improve the Quality of
Life for Individuals with Dementia?
Interventions to Decrease Depressive
Symptoms and Increase Pleasant Events
A. Behavior Therapy Interventions
- Focused on teaching caregivers specialized skills to identify and
increase pleasant events.
Teri and Colleagues
- 1st randomized controlled trial
- Randomly assigned 72 caregiver-recipient dyads to behavioral treatment (BT)
or control group.
- Result:
After 9 weekly treatment sessions, BT showed significant improvement in
depression symptoms.
60% of BT participants showed clinical improvements in depression diagnosis
from major to minor to no depression and was maintained over a 6- month
follow-up period.
20% of control group experience improvement.
2nd RCT
- 95 community residing individuals with dementia complicated by behavioral
disturbances and their family caregivers.
- Participants received either Behavior Therapy (called STAR-C) or Routine
Medical Care (RMC).

STAR C 8 weekly home visits and 4 monthly telephone calls by


consultants. (Masters Degree level Social workers or Counselors)
trained in behavior management and increasing pleasant events.

- Result: The frequency, severity, and caregiver reactions to behavioral


disturbances were significantly decreased and recipients QOL was significantly
better in STAR C than in RMC group.
B. Progressively Lowered Stress Threshold Interventions (PLST)
- This approach teaches family caregivers problem-solving strategies to identify
and provide activities that are appropriate for the individuals current level of
functioning and to implement environmental modifications that support ADL
function.