Cognitive stimulation therapy (CST) for people with dementia in practice: An observational study
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Introduction: The delivery of cognitive stimulation as a cognitive based psychosocial intervention for people with mild to moderate dementia is supported in the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence guidelines. There is a strong evidence base for its effectiveness in providing improvements in cognition and quality of life for people with dementia. However, less is known about its delivery and its impact using outcome measures when used in practice. Methods: A 1-year observational study was conducted, which measured the cognition and quality of life of 89 people with dementia living in care homes and the community and were in receipt of cognitive stimulation therapy and a maintenance programme as part of their usual care in practice. Results: A paired sample T-test demonstrated a significant improvement in cognition. Quality of life remained unchanged for people with mild to moderate dementia. Conclusions: This study reports promising findings with demonstrated benefits for people with dementia and strengthens the evidence base supporting its use in routine care. However, attention should be given to the level of cognitive impairment of attendees. This research is relevant to the field of occupational therapy as the profession has knowledge of using psychosocial interventions and a commitment to evidence-based practice.