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The feasibility of a sleep education program for informal dementia care dyads: A pilot randomized controlled trial.

Song Y, Papazyan A, Lee D, Mitchell MN, McCurry SM, Irwin MR, Teng E, Alessi CA, Martin JL. The feasibility of a sleep education program for informal dementia care dyads: A pilot randomized controlled trial. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society. 2024 Jan 9.

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BACKGROUND: Untreated sleep problems in both persons living with dementia (PLWD) and their family care partners (CP) impact their health and quality of life. This pilot study tested a sleep intervention program for both dyad members. METHODS: Thirty dyads were randomized to a 5-session Care2Sleep intervention (n = 15 dyads) or an information-only control group (n = 15 dyads) delivered in-person or by video-telehealth by trained sleep educators. Care2Sleep is a manual-based program, incorporating key components of cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia, daily light exposure and walking, and problem-solving for dementia-related behaviors. Adherence with Care2Sleep recommendations was assessed. Sleep outcomes included actigraphy-measured sleep efficiency (SE) and total wake time (TWT) for dyads, and the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI) for CP. Other outcomes for CP included the Zarit Burden Interview (ZBI) and positive aspects of caregiving (PAC). Outcomes were measured at baseline, posttreatment, and 3-month follow-up. A 2 (group) by 3 (time) mixed model analysis of variance tested treatment effects. RESULTS: Study feasibility was demonstrated, with 13 dyads completing all five sessions of Care2Sleep program and 14 completing the control condition. In the Care2Sleep group, the dyads adhered to recommended sleep schedules of 76% for bedtime and 72% for get-up time for PLWD, and 69% for bedtime and 67% for get-up time for CP. There were several nonsignificant trends in outcomes from baseline to 3-month follow-up between the two groups. For example, SE increased by 3.2% more for PLWD and 3.2% more for CP with Care2Sleep versus control. TWT decreased by 14 min more for PLWD and 12 min more for CP with Care2Sleep versus control at the 3-month follow-up. CP in Care2Sleep also showed improvement in the PSQI, ZBI, and PAC scores. CONCLUSIONS: A dyadic approach to sleep improvement is feasible. Larger trials are needed to test effects of this intervention for PLWD and their family CP. CLINICALTRIALS: gov: NCT03455569.

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