iCST Study

A feasibility RCT into Individual Cognitive Stimulation Therapy for people with intellectual disability and dementia

About the project 


Individual Cognitive Stimulation Therapy (iCST) is a psychosocial treatment for dementia that involves the individual with dementia completing activities such as word and number games, discussion of current affairs, puzzles and being creative. The activities are designed to be mentally stimulating and are delivered one to one by a carer. There is some evidence that iCST may improve cognition in the general population but no studies have been carried out in people with intellectual (learning) disabilities.

What does the study involve?

We have adapted the existing individual CST manual for people with dementia in the general population to make it more suitable for people with an intellectual disability and dementia. The intervention involves carers delivering manualised sessions twice a week for 20 weeks. We have been trialling the adapted iCST intervention as a feasibility randomised controlled trial, with 40 dyads (people with intellectual disabilities and dementia and their carers) who have been randomised to receive either the intervention or treatment as usual.

Our study is now closed to recruitment and we have finished collecting data from participants. Updates on the findings from our study can be found on our iCST Publication and Materials page.

Who is organising the research?

The research has been organised by University College London and is funded by the Baily Thomas Charitable Fund. It received ethical approval from HRA London-Harrow Research Ethics Committee.