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Cognitive–behavioural therapy for anxiety in dementia: pilot randomised controlled trial

  • Aimee Spector (a1), Georgina Charlesworth (a1), Michael King (a2), Miles Lattimer (a3), Susan Sadek (a4), Louise Marston (a5), Amritpal Rehill (a6), Juanita Hoe (a7), Afifa Qazi (a3), Martin Knapp (a6) and Martin Orrell (a8)...

Abstract

Background

Anxiety is common and problematic in dementia, yet there is a lack of effective treatments.

Aims

To develop a cognitive–behavioural therapy (CBT) manual for anxiety in dementia and determine its feasibility through a randomised controlled trial.

Method

A ten-session CBT manual was developed. Participants with dementia and anxiety (and their carers) were randomly allocated to CBT plus treatment as usual (TAU) (n = 25) or TAU (n = 25). Outcome and cost measures were administered at baseline, 15 weeks and 6 months.

Results

At 15 weeks, there was an adjusted difference in anxiety (using the Rating Anxiety in Dementia scale) of (–3.10, 95% CI −6.55 to 0.34) for CBT compared with TAU, which just fell short of statistical significance. There were significant improvements in depression at 15 weeks after adjustment (–5.37, 95% CI −9.50 to −1.25). Improvements remained significant at 6 months. CBT was cost neutral.

Conclusions

CBT was feasible (in terms of recruitment, acceptability and attrition) and effective. A fully powered RCT is now required.

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Copyright

Corresponding author

Aimee Spector, University College London, 1–19 Torrington Place, London WC1E 7HB, UK. Email: a.spector@ucl.ac.uk

Footnotes

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Declaration of interest

None.

Footnotes

References

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Cognitive–behavioural therapy for anxiety in dementia: pilot randomised controlled trial

  • Aimee Spector (a1), Georgina Charlesworth (a1), Michael King (a2), Miles Lattimer (a3), Susan Sadek (a4), Louise Marston (a5), Amritpal Rehill (a6), Juanita Hoe (a7), Afifa Qazi (a3), Martin Knapp (a6) and Martin Orrell (a8)...

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