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Alzheimer's and Dementia ; 18(S8) (no pagination), 2022.
Article in English | EMBASE | ID: covidwho-2172381


Background: Hearing and vision impairments are highly prevalent in people with dementia (PwD) and may have a negative impact on quality of life and other dementia-related outcomes. Intervening to optimize sensory function improve these outcomes. The SENSE-cog Trial evaluated whether a home-based multi-part 'sensory support' intervention (SSI) is effective in improving quality of life and other key outcomes in PwD (including hearing and/or vision problems), and their care partners. Method(s): This was a pan-European, multi-centre, observer blind, randomized controlled trial (RCT), of PwD with hearing and/or vision impairment and their companions. We compared 'care as usual' (CAU) to a multi-part complex intervention of hearing and vision rehabilitation (SSI) tailored to each participant dyad. The SSI included: assessment and correction of hearing and/or vision impairments;home-based, therapist-delivered sensory support (i.e., adherence with devices;improving the sensory environment, communication training, and signposting to other support agencies). Outcomes were collected at baseline, intervention end (18 weeks) and post-intervention (36 weeks - the primary endpoint) and included: quality of life, sensory and cognitive functional ability, relationship satisfaction, neuropsychiatric symptoms, and mental well-being. Health resource utilization was measured to estimate cost-effectiveness of the intervention. Result(s): Across 7 European centers (UK, France, Cyprus, Greece), 252 participants with dementia (median age 80 years, 53% female, 59% hearing impairment only, 4% visual impairment only and 37% both impairments) were randomized from May 2018 to May 2021 to receive either CAU or SSI (10 visits over 18 weeks). Mitigating strategies to adapt study procedures to the COVID-19 pandemic were implemented. Over 75% of participants completed the primary outcome, the DEM-QoL scale, at 36 weeks. An initial feasibility study yielded positive results for this outcome revealing an average improvement in the DEM-QoL of 4.9 points (> minimum important clinical change). Conclusion(s): Hearing and vision support in PwD is a potentially important and cost-effective means of improving the lived experience of dementia, representing a critical step in the diagnostic and care pathway. Main RCT results will be available in May 2022. Trial registration: ISRCTN17056211. Copyright © 2022 the Alzheimer's Association.

Eur Psychiatry ; 63(1): e88, 2020 09 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-884933


BACKGROUND: Healthcare services are increasingly confronted with challenges related to old age mental disorders. The survey aimed to provide an overview of existing psychogeriatric services in Albania, Bulgaria, Greece, and North Macedonia. METHODS: After identification of psychogeriatric units across the four countries, their head physicians were asked to provide data on their clinical, teaching, and research activity, as well as staff composition. Moreover, the attitudes of head physicians to current needs and future service development were explored. RESULTS: A total of 15 psychogeriatric units were identified (3 in Bulgaria, 8 in Greece, and 4 in North Macedonia). Results show wide variation regarding the location, team size and composition, service availability, numbers of patients attending, and inpatient treatment length. Most head physicians underscored the urgent need for breakthroughs in the graduate and postgraduate education in psychogeriatrics of medical and nonmedical professionals, as well as in the interconnection of their units with community primary healthcare services and long-term care facilities for seniors via telemedicine. They would welcome the development of national standards for psychogeriatric units, potentially embodying clear pointers for action. A number of head physicians advocated the development of nationwide old age mental health registries. CONCLUSIONS: Regional disparities in resources and services for seniors' mental health services were unveiled. These data may enrich the dialogue on optimizing psychogeriatric services through planning future cross-border collaborations mainly based on telemedicine services, especially in the era of the novel coronavirus pandemic, and training/education in psychogeriatrics of mental health professionals.

Attitude of Health Personnel , Health Services Needs and Demand , Mental Disorders/therapy , Mental Health Services , Bulgaria , Greece , Health Care Surveys , Humans , Republic of North Macedonia , Telemedicine/methods