Latest Findings from the CST-International Research Programme
The São Paulo team have now completed two stakeholder meetings, with a third planned for a later date. Both the São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro teams are currently working together to develop an implementation plan for CST in Brazil. Examples of barriers they have encountered so far include difficulties with public transport and reliance on caregivers for transport, identifying private and accessible places to hold CST sessions and a lack of teaching on non-pharmacological interventions for health care professionals in general.
A series of stakeholder meetings with policy representatives, health care professionals, people living with dementia and caregivers have been completed in Rio de Janeiro and are ongoing in São Paulo. The team in Rio de Janeiro have finished compiling all of the barriers to and facilitators of CST implementation and will now begin work on their implementation plan.
Examples of barriers to CST implementation uncovered in India are that there are often multiple languages spoken by participants and facilitators, women can be underrepresented in healthcare services and that there is often a preference for traditional medicine over non-pharmacological interventions or therapies. The teams in Chennai and Mysore have also begun to adapt a three hour Dementia Awareness Course to be delivered to carers whilst their relative or friend is receiving CST.
The teams in Chennai and Mysore have now completed all of their stakeholder meetings and meetings in Kerala and New Delhi are ongoing. Prof Spector (Chief Investigator) and Dr Stoner (Programme Manager) visited the Chennai site in March and led a meeting of all the India co-applicants. Prof Spector also trained all of the site leads and some junior researchers to be CST facilitators.
The team in Tanzania are now using their implementation plan for CST and it has acted as a template for the other countries. Eight CST groups with over 50 participants are also up and running, with post assessments scheduled for mid-August. Feedback indiciates that the participants and facilitators are enjoying CST and facilitators have been receiving feedback from trained staff. Sarah Mkenda (Occupational Therapist at Kilimanjaro Christian Medical College; KCMC) has been amending the Dementia Awareness Course for caregivers and will deliver this to caregivers over the next couple of weeks.
Prof Spector visited Tanzania in June and trained approximately 20 healthcare professionals to be CST Facilitators. The team in Tanzania have also successfully completed all of their stakeholder meetings and have written their implementation plan. As part of their plan, the team will explore implementation activities such as contacting higher education institutions to explore whether CST can be taught on relevant courses such as Occupational Therapy and Nursing. They have also been invited to collaborate on the development of national guidelines for the treatment of dementia in Tanzania.