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Living with and caring for dementia : the effects of a novel intervention on quality of life in a case series

Parkinson, Sarah Rose


Sarah Rose Parkinson


James William Bray


Background: Dementia is associated with several modifiable risk factors including physical activity, cognitive stimulation, and social engagement. Caregiver burden is common among dementia carers and may be reduced with educational and emotional support. In partnership with the Sphere Memory and Rehabilitation Team (SMaRT), a private cognitive health provider in the East Riding of Yorkshire, we implemented a novel ‘Psychosocial Intervention for Dementia’ (PID) programme. Aims: The primary aim of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of the SMaRT PID, to improve quality of life (QoL) for people living with dementia and their carers, in a pragmatic case-series. A secondary aim of this study was to explore the effects of the national lockdown as a result of the Coronavirus-19 (COVID-19) pandemic on QoL. Methods: Six individuals (age 81.5 ± 7 years [y]) living with dementia and their carers completed the SMaRT PID, combining the physical and educational training stimuli delivered in a social setting, once weekly, over six weeks. Physical capacity, QoL, and carer burden were measured at baseline and on completion of the intervention. Semi- structured interviews explored the participants’ detailed perceptions of their QoL. Additionally, six individuals living with dementia (aged 76.4 ± 5.6 y) and their spousal carers completed semi-structured telephone interviews and QoL questionnaires during the first COVID-19 lockdown between April and May 2020. Results: Two of the physical tests (Berg Balance Scale and grip strength) revealed improvements or maintenance in four participants (~66%). There were no consistent changes on any other outcome measure following participation in the SMaRT PID. Analysis of results emphasised the importance of emotional support during the period of lockdown. Discussion: This case-series highlights the potential value of a locally delivered, combined intervention. However, a more personalised training programme may be more beneficial to people living with dementia based on the individual variability of symptoms. Overall, emotional support appears to be paramount for maintaining QoL for people living with dementia and their carers, particularly in the face of a global pandemic.


Parkinson, S. R. (2021). Living with and caring for dementia : the effects of a novel intervention on quality of life in a case series. (Thesis). University of Hull. Retrieved from

Thesis Type Thesis
Deposit Date Sep 27, 2021
Publicly Available Date Feb 23, 2023
Keywords Sports science
Public URL
Additional Information Department of Sport, Health & Exercise Science, The University of Hull
Award Date Apr 1, 2021


Thesis (2.6 Mb)

Copyright Statement
© 2021 Parkinson, Sarah Rose. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the written permission of the copyright holder.

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