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Improving the management of behaviour that challenges associated with dementia in care homes: protocol for pharmacy–health psychology intervention feasibility study
  1. Ian D Maidment1,
  2. Rachel L Shaw2,
  3. Kirsty Killick3,4,
  4. Sarah Damery5,
  5. Andrea Hilton6,
  6. Jane Wilcock7,
  7. Nigel Barnes8,
  8. Graeme Brown8,
  9. Sarah Gillespie9,
  10. Chris Fox10,
  11. Garry Barton11,
  12. Steve Iliffe12,
  13. Nichola Seare13
  1. 1Department of Clinical Pharmacy, School of Life and Health Sciences, Medicines and Devices in Ageing Cluster Lead, Aston Research Centre for Healthy Ageing (ARCHA), Aston University, Birmingham, UK
  2. 2Department of Psychology, School of Life and Health Sciences, Aston University, Birmingham, UK
  3. 3School of Life and Health Sciences, Aston University, Birmingham, UK
  4. 4Social Dimensions of Health Institute, University of Dundee, Dundee, UK
  5. 5Institute of Applied Health Research, College of Medical and Dental Sciences, University of Birmingham, Birmingham
  6. 6Faculty of Health and Social Care, University of Hull, Hull, UK
  7. 7Research Department of Primary Care & Population Health, University College London, London, UK
  8. 8Pharmacy, Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust, Birmingham, UK
  9. 9Department of Clinical Healthcare, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Oxford Brookes University, Oxford, UK
  10. 10Department of Clinical Psychiatry, Medical School, University of East Anglia, Norwich Research Park, Norwich, UK
  11. 11Norwich Medical School and Norwich Clinical Trials Unit, University of East Anglia, Norwich Research Park, Norwich, UK
  12. 12Research Department of Primary Care & Population Health, University College London, London, UK
  13. 13Aston Health Research and Innovation Cluster, Aston University, Birmingham, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Ian D Maidment; i.maidment{at}


Introduction The inappropriate use of antipsychotics in people with dementia for behaviour that challenges is associated with an estimated 1800 deaths annually. However, solely focusing on antipsychotics may transfer prescribing to other equally dangerous psychotropics. Little is known about the role of pharmacists in the management of psychotropics used to treat behaviours that challenge. This research aims to determine whether it is feasible to implement and measure the effectiveness of a combined pharmacy–health psychology intervention incorporating a medication review and staff training package to limit the prescription of psychotropics to manage behaviour that challenges in care home residents with dementia.

Methods/analysis 6 care homes within the West Midlands will be recruited. People with dementia receiving medication for behaviour that challenges, or their personal consultee, will be approached regarding participation. Medication used to treat behaviour that challenges will be reviewed by the pharmacist, in collaboration with the general practitioner (GP), person with dementia and carer. The behavioural intervention consists of a training package for care home staff and GPs promoting person-centred care and treating behaviours that challenge as an expression of unmet need. The primary outcome measure is the Neuropsychiatric Inventory-Nursing Home version (NPI-NH). Other outcomes include quality of life (EQ-5D and DEMQoL), cognition (sMMSE), health economic (CSRI) and prescribed medication including whether recommendations were implemented. Outcome data will be collected at 6 weeks, and 3 and 6 months. Pretraining and post-training interviews will explore stakeholders’ expectations and experiences of the intervention. Data will be used to estimate the sample size for a definitive study.

Ethics/dissemination The project has received a favourable opinion from the East Midlands REC (15/EM/3014). If potential participants lack capacity, a personal consultee will be consulted regarding participation in line with the Mental Capacity Act. Results will be published in peer-reviewed journals and presented at conferences.


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