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Occupational therapy is cost-effective for older people with dementia and their caregivers

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M J L Graff

Correspondence to: M J L Graff, Alzheimer Centre Nijmegen, Department of Occupational Therapy 897, Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre, PO Box 9101, 6500 HB Nijmegen, The Netherlands; m.graff@pmd.umcn.nl

QUESTION

Question:

How cost-effective is an occupational therapy intervention for older patients with dementia and their caregivers?

Patients:

135 people aged 65 years and over with mild to moderate dementia who were living in the community, plus their carers.

Setting:

Memory clinic and day clinic of a department of geriatrics in The Netherlands; recruitment April 2001 to January 2005.

Intervention:

Occupational therapy or usual care. Ten sessions of occupational therapy were given over 5 weeks for both patients and their carers. Sessions included cognitive and behavioural interventions; in the first 4 sessions, participants were taught to define and prioritise the problems they wanted to improve, in the final 6 sessions, participants were taught to optimise strategies to address their issues. The intervention aimed to train patients to use aids to compensate for their cognitive decline, and to train carers in coping and supervision.

Outcomes:

Primary outcome was incremental cost-effectiveness ratio (difference in …

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