Toward a theory-based specification of non-pharmacological treatments in ageing and dementia: Focused reviews and methodological recommendations

Presenter: Dr Alex Bahar-Fuchs, AUPOA

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About the presentation

Non-pharmacological treatments (NPTs) have the potential to improve meaningful outcomes for older people at risk of, or living with dementia, but research often lacks methodological rigor and continues to produce mixed results. A unifying theoretical approach is needed to advance the specification of NPTs and guide clinical trial design. The presentation will offer an overview of a recent perspective/position paper from the ISTAART non-pharmacological interventions Professional Interest Area (NPI PIA) group. Experts in NPT research specified treatment targets, aims and ingredients using an umbrella framework, the Rehabilitation Treatment Specification System. In relation to each treatment area covered, experts also provided a snapshot and an authoritative summary of the evidence based on the best synthesis efforts, identified main gaps in knowledge and relevant barriers, and provided directions for future research. Experts in trial methodology provide best practice principles and recommendations for those working in this area, underscoring the importance of pre-specified protocols. The paper concluded that the evidence strongly supports various NPTs in relation to their primary targets, and discuss opportunities and challenges associated with a unifying theoretical framework to guide future efforts in this area.

About the presenter

Alex trained as a clinical neuropsychologist, and has been conducting research on cognitive ageing for the past 15 years, initially with a focus on assessment and early detection and later shifting to treatment development, evaluation and evidence synthesis. Together with Amit Lampit, he leads the CITE research group in the Department of Psychiatry, the University of Melbourne. He is passionate about dementia prevention and optimizing cognitive ageing, but when no one is watching, prefers to keep pretending that he can play the drums while listening to progressive rock

Further information: [email protected]

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