Cognitive activity for the treatment of older adults with mild Alzheimer's disease (AD)--PACE AD: study protocol for a randomised controlled trial.Trials 2011; 12:47T
Participation in cognitive stimulation therapy (CST) may reduce the rate of cognitive decline in people with Alzheimer's disease (AD), however it is unclear if the training of carers to deliver activities is sufficient to improve the clinical outcome of patients. The Promoting Healthy Ageing with Cognitive Exercise for Alzheimer's Disease (PACE-AD) study has been designed to determine if change in cognitive function over a six month period can be achieved with participation in cognitive stimulating activities when the intervention is delivered to carers only as opposed to carers and patients.
The study will aim to recruit 128 community-dwelling men and women with probable AD according to NINCDS-ADRDS criteria. Participants will be randomly allocated to one of two cognitive activity treatment groups: (1) Participants with mild AD and their companions together (2) Companions of participants with mild AD alone. The intervention will consist of a twelve-week program of cognitive stimulation. Seven weeks of the program will involve 90-minute group sessions delivered once per week while the remaining weeks of the program will involve structured home based activities with telephone support. The primary outcome measure of the study is the change from baseline in the total score on the Alzheimer Disease Assessment Scale-Cognitive (ADAS-COG). Secondary outcomes of interest include changes in health related quality of life, mood, memory, language, executive functions, independent living abilities and psychiatric symptoms for participants with mild AD. Changes in companion quality of life, mood, and general health will also be monitored. Primary endpoints will be collected 13 and 26 weeks after the baseline assessment.
The proposed project will provide evidence as to whether CST for people with AD and their companions is more beneficial than when used for companions alone. Outcomes sought include a reduction of further cognitive decline and improved quality of life amongst older adults with mild AD. We anticipate that the results of this study will have implications for the development of cost-effective evidence-based best practice to treat people with mild AD.