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2010 Non-Pharmacological Strategies to Ameliorate Symptoms of Alzheimer's Disease and Related Dementia Grant (NPSASA)

A Multi-dyad Cognitive Rehabilitation Intervention

Maureen Schmitter-Edgecombe, Ph.D.
Washington State University
Pullman, WA - United States

Early interventions that can improve the care, functional status, quality of life and health services utilization of individuals with Alzheimer's disease and related disorders and their caregivers is an important public health goal. There is currently a gap in the literature concerning how to best assist individuals with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and their care partners in incorporating effective cognitive rehabilitation strategies into daily life to help maintain functional independence.

Maureen Schmitter-Edgecombe, Ph.D., proposes to study a multifamily cognitive-rehabilitation intervention for the treatment of individuals with MCI and their care partners. Study participants will be provided with information about MCI and dementia, guidelines for managing the disorder, training in practical memory strategies, practice in solving problems, and the opportunity to exchange experiences and coping strategies with other study participants in similar circumstances. By integrating cognitive rehabilitation strategies with a multifamily group psychoeducation format, there may be an improvement in behavioral management skills in persons with MCI and supportive strategies by their care partners. In turn, care partners are anticipated to experience and benefit from the informational and social support of the group.

This research may lead to a more cost-effective, non-pharmacological intervention that can be replicated in other settings by trained clinicians. The intervention is also expected to empower people with MCI and their care partners to better manage the manifestations of MCI and provide a model for much needed educational, training and supportive services.

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