Objective: Evaluate the effectiveness of a training package to implement a community occupational therapy program for people with dementia and their caregiver (COTiD).
Design: Cluster randomized controlled trial.
Subjects: A total of 45 service units including 94 occupational therapists, 48 managers, 80 physicians, treating 71 client-caregiver couples.
Interventions: Control intervention: A postgraduate course for occupational therapists only.
Experimental intervention: A training package including the usual postgraduate course, additional training days, outreach visits, regional meetings, and access to a reporting system for occupational therapists. Physicians and managers received newsletters, had access to a website, and were approached by telephone.
Primary outcome: The intended adherence of therapists to the COTiD program. This was assessed using vignettes.
Secondary outcomes: clients' daily functioning, caregivers' sense of competence, quality of life, and self-perceived performance of daily activities of both clients and caregivers. Between-group differences were assessed using multilevel analyses with therapist and intervention factors as covariates.
Results: No significant between-group differences between baseline and 12 months were found for adherence (1.58, 95% CI -0.10 to 3.25), nor for any client or caregiver outcome. A higher number of coaching sessions and higher self-perceived knowledge of dementia at baseline positively correlated with adherence scores. In contrast, experiencing more support from occupational therapy colleagues or having conducted more COTiD treatments at baseline negatively affected adherence scores.
Conclusion: The training package was not effective in increasing therapist adherence and client-caregiver outcomes. This study suggests that coaching sessions and increasing therapist knowledge on dementia positively affect adherence.
Clinical trial number: NCT01117285.
Keywords: Adherence; caregiver; cost-effectiveness; dementia; implementation; manager; occupational therapy; physician.
© The Author(s) 2014.