Maintenance Cognitive Stimulation Therapy (CST) In Practice: a Research Protocol

[A version of this item appears in: Dementia: the Latest Evidence Newsletter (RWHT), Volume 3 Issue 1, August 2012].


Cognitive Stimulation Therapy (CST) is a psychosocial evidence-based group intervention for people with dementia recommended by NICE guidelines. This study attempts to clarify how best to ensure successful implementation of CST in practice. One recent pilot study had identified “lack of support” as a possible reason for sub-optimal implementation; pointing to the need for management support, regular supervision, supervision from a specialist, online forums and additional training as being useful when starting and running CST groups.

Three sub-projects feature in this protocol study for two randomised controlled trials (RCTs) and an observational study of CST outcomes. The studies discussed here are:

  1. The Training and Outreach Trial (TROU): to assess the effects of outreach support for staff training when putting CST into practice and running groups effectively for people with dementia in various settings.
  2. The Monitoring and Outreach Trial (MONOU): to evaluate the effectiveness of CST in standard clinical practice, looking at staff members who have previously received the CST “Making a difference” manual or attended CST training.
  3. An observational study of CST in practice to identify the main factors which promote or impede the successful running of CST groups.

“This study should provide definitive evidence of the effectiveness and feasibility of implementation of CST and maintenance CST in a variety of care settings. This study is likely to influence the availability, provisions and uptake of CST and maintenance CST in the UK and internationally, and may also impact on current evidence-based guidelines and policies relating to dementia care.” (p.14).

Full Text Link


Streater, A. Spector, A. [and] Aguirre, E. [et al] (2012). Maintenance Cognitive Stimulation Therapy (CST) in practice: study protocol for a randomized controlled trial. Trials, June 26th 2012, Vol.13(1), 91, pp.1-20. (Click here to view the PubMed abstract).

About Dementia and Elderly Care News

Dementia and Elderly Care News. Wolverhampton Medical Institute: WMI. (jh)
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