Background: Funding bodies are placing increased emphasis on patient and public involvement in research, but the research priorities of individuals and caregivers living with dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) are unknown.
Method: Investigators conducted telephone interviews with individuals living with DLB and caregivers. Participants were recruited from a Lewy Body Dementia Association Research Center of Excellence. Interviews employed a semi-structured questionnaire querying research needs in different categories and then asking participants to select their top priorities. Investigators used a qualitative descriptive approach to analyze transcripts and identify themes.
Results: Twenty individuals with DLB and 25 caregivers participated. Seventeen from each group participated as part of a patient-caregiver dyad. Twenty-three of the caregivers were spouses, two were daughters. Individuals with DLB and caregivers identified research needs relating to focusing on awareness, determining the cause of DLB, improving diagnosis, and investigating what to expect/disease stages. Participants also highlighted DLB symptoms needing additional research, therapies to prevent, cure, or slow the progression of DLB, and research targeting daily function and quality of life, caregiving, and improving education.
Conclusions: These findings support the research priorities defined in the National Institutes of Health dementia care summits in addition to ADRD priority-setting summits. Research is needed across all domains of DLB. Funding should be informed by the priorities of all relevant stakeholders and support research investigating causes, natural history, biomarkers, and treatment in addition to research targeting themes regarding living with disease (e.g. independence, quality of life, caregiving, and education).