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Int J Geriatr Psychiatry. 2013 Mar;28(3):284-90. doi: 10.1002/gps.3823. Epub 2012 May 10.

Cognitive stimulation therapy (CST) for people with dementia--who benefits most?

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Mental Health Sciences Department, University College London, Charles Bell House, 67-73 Riding House Street, London, UK.



The efficacy of cognitive stimulation therapy (CST) has been demonstrated, but little is known about the characteristics of people with dementia, which may predict a more positive response to CST. This study sought to investigate which factors may predict response to CST.


Two hundred and seventy-two participants with dementia took part in a 7-week CST intervention. Assessments were carried out pre-treatment and post-treatment. The results were compared with those of a previous comparable CST randomised control trial. A comparison of mean scores pre-CST and post-CST groups was undertaken, and contributing factors that predicted change in outcomes were examined.


CST improved cognition and quality of life, and the results showed that the benefits of CST were independent of whether people were taking acetylcholinesteraseinhibitor (AChEI) medication. Increasing age was associated with cognitive benefits, as was female gender. Care home residents improved more than community residents on quality of life, but the community sample seemed to benefit more in relation to behaviour problems.


These results demonstrate that CST improves cognition and quality of life for people with dementia including those already on AChEIs. Older age and being female were associated with increased cognitive benefits from the intervention. Consideration should be given to aspects of CST, which may enhance the benefits for people with dementia who are male and those younger than 80 years.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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