Cognitive stimulation therapy for people with dementia in practice: A service evaluation
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Introduction: Cognitive stimulation therapy is a well-recognised evidence-based cognitive psychosocial intervention for people with mild to moderate dementia. Despite increased use of the programme, little is known about its implementation in practice. Method: A service evaluation of care home staff that received cognitive stimulation therapy training was conducted, and on-going support to deliver the programme in practice was provided. Outcome measures collected at baseline and 6 month follow up included sense of competence, learning transfer, dementia knowledge, and approaches to dementia. Attendance records were also collected. Results: Ten out of 12 care homes attempted to deliver the cognitive stimulation therapy programme after receiving training and support. Overall, a high number of sessions were delivered. In addition, the staff members demonstrated significant improvements in positive approaches to dementia care and sense of competence. Conclusions: This article reports encouraging findings of training and outreach support with demonstrated improvements in staff outcomes and successful implementation of the cognitive stimulation therapy programme. These results support the current evidence base supporting the use of cognitive stimulation therapy in routine care. This is relevant to occupational therapy as the profession plays a crucial part in the implementation of psychosocial interventions for dementia in practice.