Online platform aims to improve management of early dementia

Researchers are trialling an online intervention for people with early-stage dementia with the aim of improving self-management techniques.

The team at Neuroscience Research Australia (NeuRA) will conduct the trial with aim to support people living with mild to moderate dementia and manage their diagnosis, as well as educating loved ones.

There are more than 500,000 people in Australia with dementia, and 250 new diagnoses each day, with that number expected to rise to over 300 per day within the next five years.

“Our aim with SHAPE is to provide individuals with early dementia, and their families, with access to knowledge and support, so they are better able to manage their own health and wellbeing, and the changes that occur,” says Senior Principal Scientist at NeuRA and Director of UNSW Ageing Futures Institute, Professor Kaarin Anstey.

Results from previous research show self-management groups are beneficial for people with early-stage dementia. However, this intervention has never been conducted online.

What the trial involves

Participants in the trial will either receive a ‘SHAPE intervention’ or a control.

The intervention involves an online group session once a week for 10 weeks, where each participant will be given an easy-to-use iPad to join these sessions. Additionally, family members and friends will access to an e-learning programme.

People in the control group will receive a placebo programme but will have access to the official e-learning programme, containing the study materials, after the trial is complete.

For more information on the trial and for those who fit the criteria, visit neura.edu.au/project/shape.

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