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Early intervention in dementia support using a person centred approach - PhD Project

Dr Gillian Stockwell-Smith, Prof Henry Brodaty
Research Centre DCRC Assessment and Better Care
Partner Institution Griffith University
Project Description

Dementia is a progressive, life limiting condition that, as cognitive & functional capacity decline, has an increasing impact on th ehealth and quality of life of the person with the condition and their family caregivers. This study developed, implemented and evaluated a community-based psychosocial intervention for older people with early-stage dementia and their family caregivers (the dyad).

It aimed to examine the extent to which participation had a beneficial effect on the dyads’ wellbeing, sense of self-efficacy in managing the consequences of dementia and their relationship. An explanatory sequential mixed method approach guided data collection & analysis. Ninety-six dyads were recruited to control and intervention groups, twenty-three community aged care staff were recruited & trained to deliver the intervention.

Participation in the intervention was associated with substantial increases in actual self-efficacy demonstrated by improved community service awareness and uptake, but no tin perceived self-efficacy, dyadic relationship and wellbeing outcomes. However, most changes were in the desired direction of better outcomes associated with participation in the intervention.These results suggest that the greater awareness of future care needs and information gathering as a result of the intervention were important in initiating the development of future care plans amongst intervention dyads and in most cases sustaining their implementation.

Full thesis will be available from the Griffith University website:

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