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In progress: An efficacy trial of the tailored activity program for Veterans with dementia

Arthur PB, Gitlin L, Mann WC. In progress: An efficacy trial of the tailored activity program for Veterans with dementia. Poster session presented at: Florida Occupational Therapy Association Annual Conference; 2012 Nov 2; Tampa, FL.


Neuropsychiatric symptoms are a hallmark of dementia. Such symptoms are associated with increased health care costs, reduced quality of life and daily functioning, heightened family caregiver burden, and nursing home placement. Standard care typically involves pharmacologic agents, but these are at best modestly effective, carry serious risks, and do not address behavioral symptoms families consider most distressful. The Tailored Activity Program - Veterans Administration (TAP-VA) is a Phase III efficacy trial designed to reduce neuropsychiatric symptoms in Veterans with dementia living with their caregivers. TAP-VA is a randomized two-group parallel design with 160 diverse Veterans and caregivers. The experimental group receives a transformative patient-centric intervention by an Occupational Therapist designed to reduce the burden of NPS in Veterans with dementia. The attention-control group receives bi-monthly telephone contact where education is provided to address unmet expressed information needs of caregivers. TAP-VA is designed to improve the quality of life of Veterans with dementia and lessen the burden of their family caregiver. Intervention components are tailored to reflect the Veteran's preserved capabilities for active engagement in activity, while not taxing areas of cognition that are most impaired.

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