Evidence
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People with late-stage Parkinson’s need personalised, flexible, home-based care

People with late-stage Parkinson’s disease have complex, unmet needs, but their voices are often not heard, say researchers. One-on-one interviews revealed that people in this group need more flexible, personalised care at home and in the community to help them manage their symptoms and maintain control over their condition. The research also highlights the need …

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Loneliness, but not social isolation, predicts development of dementia in older people

Older people who feel lonely and have few close relationships may have an increased chance of developing dementia. Perhaps surprisingly, being socially isolated with few or infrequent social contacts does not seem to predict dementia risk, researchers found. This study was carried out before the coronavirus pandemic but the findings are relevant now, when the …

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Melatonin shows potential for reducing delirium among older people after surgery

Taking melatonin around the time of surgery is linked with lower odds of delirium onset in older people, compared with placebo or no treatment. In a systematic review and meta-analysis, around 15% of the melatonin group developed delirium after surgery compared with around 20% of the comparison group. Delirium is an acute state of mental …

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Occupational therapy at home may benefit people with dementia and their carers

Multiple occupational therapy sessions, provided in a person with dementia’s own home, improve their ability to carry out daily activities, compared with usual care. Improvements are also seen in behavioural and psychological symptoms and their quality of life. In addition, carers report feeling less distress, and a better quality of life. This study was a systematic …

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A less healthy lifestyle increases the risk of dementia

The less healthy your lifestyle, the more you are at risk of developing dementia in later life, a new systematic review has shown. Researchers analysed the results of 18 studies with over 44,000 participants. Having two or more ‘modifiable risk factors’, including smoking, high blood pressure, poor diet, inactivity, obesity and excessive alcohol consumption, puts …

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My Signals – Occupational Therapy

In My Signals, health and social care staff and service users tell us what research is important to them and why they feel others need to know about it. In this collection, we asked seven occupational therapists to tell us which Signals have interested them most and explain why they feel the findings are worth …

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Steps to better understanding resistant behaviours and the culture of bedside dementia care in hospitals

High levels of resistance to care by people with dementia can be exacerbated by responses by staff on the wards. This study sought to understand the interactions and culture underlying care by closely observing and documenting what was actually happening on ten wards in five UK hospitals, and through interviews with carers and families. This …

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Goal-setting can help people with early-stage dementia improve function

Goal-setting as part of cognitive rehabilitation delivered by occupational therapists helped people with early dementia progress towards independence in daily tasks, with benefits lasting for nine months. This approach focuses on the everyday tasks needing concentration and memory and prioritising those that matter most to individuals, from using the cooker or answering the phone. The …

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Training programme to improve communication between staff and patients with dementia in hospital shows promise

Communication with people with dementia can be challenging for healthcare professionals. A new two-day training programme shows potential to help professionals become more confident in managing difficult situations on the ward. After analysis of 41 videoed exchanges between 26 healthcare professionals and 26 people with dementia in acute hospitals, researchers identified particular challenges. These included …

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Antidepressants do not help treat depression in people living with dementia

Antidepressants do not reduce symptoms of depression in people with dementia compared with placebo (dummy pills). Measured 6 to 13 weeks after starting the treatment, there is little or no difference in participants’ symptoms, but an increased chance of unwanted side effects. The review did not identify enough data to determine if antidepressants have an …

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