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Brief Psychosocial Therapy for the Treatment of Agitation in Alzheimer Disease (The CALM-AD Trial)

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Clive Ballard, Simon Douglas, Professor Philip Bradley, Adam Burns, Professor John O'Brien, Dr Robert Bullock


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Background: Good practice guidelines state that a psychological intervention should usually precede pharmacotherapy, but there are no data evaluating the feasibility of psychological interventions used in this way. Methods: At the first stage of a randomized blinded placebo-controlled trial, 318 patients with Alzheimer disease (AD) with clinically significant agitated behavior were treated in an open design with a psychological intervention (brief psychosocial therapy [BPST]) for 4 weeks, preceding randomization to pharmacotherapy. The therapy involved social interaction, personalized music, or removal of environmental triggers. Results: Overall, 318 patients with AD completed BPST with an improvement of 5.6 points on the total Cohen-Mansfield Agitation Inventory (CMAI; mean [SD], 63.3 [16.0] to 57.7 [18.4], t = 4.8, df = 317, p 95% of patients. More detailed evaluation of outcome was completed for the 198 patients with AD from these centers, who experienced a mean improvement of 6.6 points on the total CMAI (mean [SD], 62.2 [14.3] to 55.6 [15.8], t = 6.5, df - 197, p

Publication metadata

Author(s): Ballard C, Brown R, Fossey J, Douglas S, Bradley P, Hancock J, James IA, Juszczak E, Bentham P, Burns A, Lindesay J, Jacoby R, O'Brien J, Bullock R, Johnson T, Holmes C, Howard R

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry

Year: 2009

Volume: 17

Issue: 9

Pages: 726-733

ISSN (print): 1064-7481

ISSN (electronic): 1545-7214

Publisher: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins


DOI: 10.1097/JGP.0b013e3181b0f8c0


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Funder referenceFunder name
Department of Health
Medical Research Council
G0100070Medical Research Council