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2014 Grants - Ciro
High-Dose, Mass Practice Intervention to Reduce ADL Disability in Dementia
Carrie Ciro, Ph.D.
The University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
2014 New Investigator Research Grant
Individuals with Alzheimer’s and other dementias often report a gradual decline in their ability to function in activities of daily living (ADLs). Losing the ability to do self-care tasks, such as use a cell phone, balance a checkbook or get dressed, can signify a loss for both the person with dementia and their caregiver. Despite gains in research, there is still a strong need to develop effective interventions for improving function or delaying decline in daily life skills to enable people with dementia to remain in their homes as the disease progresses. To help address these needs, an intervention called Skill-building through Task-Oriented Motor Practice (STOMP) was developed which uniquely focuses on improving daily function through the use of intense repetitive practice of meaningful ADL tasks.
In previous studies, Carrie Ciro, Ph.D., and colleagues found that an intensive version of the STOMP protocol significantly improved ADLs in people with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias, and improvements were sustained for three months following the intervention. For their current studies, the research team will compare the effects of the original intensive STOMP intervention to a new less-intensive version. They will also examine how the participants’ levels of sustained attention and engagement during training impacts learning and improvements in ADLs. The research team hypothesizes that people with dementia need a lot of “correct practice” so the brain has time to “rewire” how to do the task correctly.
Findings from this study will provide new information on what types of interventions may be most effective in enhancing how someone with dementia learns. In the long term, the STOMP intervention could not only improve daily life skills in people with dementia, but may also help to delay decline in the same skills. Interventions aimed at preserving daily living activities may help people with dementia stay in their homes longer and increase life satisfaction.