A comprehensive resilience-building psychosocial intervention (CREST) to improve the quality of life of people with dementia and their carers

In Ireland almost 48,000 people have dementia; of these, more than 26,000 live in the community being cared for by family and friends. Current health care strategies are insufficient to cope with this. The Irish dementia strategy identifies better understanding of dementia in society, reducing the stigma associated with dementia as priority actions to improve outcomes for people with dementia. This research can contribute to realizing these actions. Resilience refers to one's ability to 'bounce back' and cope successfully in the face of life challenges such as a diagnosis of dementia. However resilience theory has not been used to underpin therapeutic interventions for people with dementia. We believe that a resilience building intervention can only be effective if it simultaneously targets the individual, community and society.
We therefore undertook development work, consulting with people with dementia, carers and experts in dementia and resilience. Following this work we identified four relevant previously evaluated single interventions which meet the needs of people with dementia and carers. These four components identified were:
1) cognitive stimulation 2) group physical activity 3) dementia education 4) assistive technologies to support personal control and retain skills.
We combined these interventions to create one novel Comprehensive Resilience-building psychosocial Intervention (CREST) aimed at improving the quality of life of people with dementia. This study if successful has the potential to make a real difference to people with dementia. We seek 30 months funding to confirm CREST and pilot the intervention in two communities. The aim is to assess the feasibility and acceptability of study procedures for key stakeholders including people with dementia and carers, estimate the validity of data collection tools, provide data to verify the sample size calculations for a future main trial and develop a protocol.

Award Date
26 June 2015
Award Value
Principal Investigator
Dr Dympna Casey
Host Institution
National University of Ireland, Galway
Applied Research Projects in Dementia