Last updated on May 2019

A Culturally Appropriate Multimodal Non-pharmacological Intervention for Chinese People With Mild-to-Moderate Dementia


Brief description of study

This is a mixed-methods research that includes a single-blind three-arms randomized control trials and a focus group study. The quantitative study aims to investigate the additional clinical benefits of the Six Arts intervention over an evidence-based non-pharmacological intervention translated from western culture, cognitive stimulation therapy (CST). The qualitative part aims to explore the acceptance and understanding of family caregiver of the Six Arts intervention and CST.

It is hypothesized that 1) the group who have received Six Arts intervention would show superior quality of life; 2) both Six Arts and CST groups would show superior cognitive improvement compared with usual care; 3) the Six Arts group would show greater improvement in behavioral and neuropsychological symptoms and functioning compared with the groups receiving CST or usual care.

Detailed Study Description

Dementia is a disabling chronic condition affecting over 47 million people worldwide. Chinese population will be one of the main driver in the increasing trend in dementia prevalence. Accumulating evidence suggests effectiveness of certain non-drug interventions in maintaining cognition and quality of life in people with mild-to-moderate dementia, such as cognitive stimulation therapy (CST). These interventions are designed and tested in western populations with issues of cultural adaptation when applied in Chinese. Culturally appropriate and effective interventions for Chinese people with mild-to-moderate dementia are lacking.

The Six Arts stem from ancient Confucian philosophy, which promotes behaviours that can impact on multiple mind-body functional domains. These domains correspond to social, physical, and cognitive activities with theoretical basis and empirical evidence of benefits in cognition, functioning, and quality of life. Using the Six Arts as a cultural framework, a group-based multimodal intervention has been developed in Hong Kong for Chinese people with mild-to-moderate dementia.

The study will recruit 240 people with mild-to-moderate dementia in a randomized single-blind controlled trial consisting of three groups: (1) Six Arts intervention; (2) CST; and (3) usual care. Neuropsychological and clinical assessments will be conducted at randomization (T0/baseline) and upon completion of the 24-session, twice-weekly intervention (T1/3 months), by an assessor unaware of group membership. Focus groups will be conducted after completion of the intervention in 60 family caregivers who have observed at least one session of the Six Arts intervention or CST.

This study will provide evidence on the effectiveness of two intervention protocols with potentials for large-scale implementation in the growing Chinese population with dementia.

Clinical Study Identifier: NCT03937297

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Recruitment Status: Open


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