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Telemedicine for the management of neuropsychiatric symptoms in long-term care facilities: the DETECT study, methods of a cluster randomised controlled trial to assess feasibility
  1. Antoine Piau1,
  2. Fati Nourhashemi1,2,
  3. Adélaïde De Mauléon1,
  4. Achille Tchalla3,
  5. Claude Vautier4,
  6. Bruno Vellas1,2,
  7. Maryline Duboue1,
  8. Nadège Costa5,
  9. Pierre Rumeau1,
  10. Benoit Lepage6,
  11. Maria Soto Martin1,2
  1. 1 Gérontopôle, CHU Toulouse, Toulouse, France
  2. 2 UMR 1027, INSERM, Toulouse, France
  3. 3 CHU Limoges, Université de Limoges, Limoges, France
  4. 4 Manufacture des Tabacs, Université des Sciences Sociales-Toulouse 1, Toulouse, France
  5. 5 Medical Information Department, CHU Toulouse, Toulouse, France
  6. 6 Department of Epidemiology, CHU Toulouse, USMR, Toulouse, France
  1. Correspondence to Dr Antoine Piau; piau.a{at}


Introduction Neuropsychiatric symptoms (NPSs) in elderly patients with dementia are frequent in long-term care facilities (LTCFs) and are associated with adverse events. Telemedicine is an emerging way to provide consultation and care to dependent LTCF residents who may not have easy access to specialty services. Several studies have evaluated telemedicine for dementia care but to date, no study has evaluated its impact in the management of NPS in patients with dementia living in LTCF.

Methods and analysis The Dementia in long-term care facilities: Telemedicine for the management of neuropsychiatric symptoms (DETECT) study is a 24-month multicentre prospective cluster randomised controlled study with two arms: a control arm (usual care) and an intervention arm (telemedicine consultation) for NPSs management. DETECT enrolled 20 LTCFs. The primary outcome is based on the acceptability of the telemedicine among the LTCF staff which will be assessed in the intervention group by quantitative and qualitative indicators. The rate of unscheduled hospitalisations and/or consultations due to disruptive NPSs, psychotropic drug use and health costs will be described in both groups. Approximately, 200 patients are expected to be recruited.

Ethics and dissemination The study protocol was approved and sponsored by the French Ministry of Health. The study received ethical approval from the Toulouse University Hospital Institutional Review Board. We will communicate the final results to the public via conferences and results will also be submitted for publication in international peer-reviewed scientific journals.

Trial registration number NCT02472015.

  • telemedicine
  • dementia
  • health economics
  • geriatric medicine

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  • Contributors This study protocol was mainly developed by AP, FN and MESM. The first draft of the manuscript was written by AP, MESM and FN. AT, CV, NC and BL contributed to the design of the clinical study. MESM, AT, CV, NC, BL, ADM, BV, MD and PR were involved in the critical revision of the manuscript.

  • Funding This research is conducted with the support of an interregional PHRC French grant (French Ministry of Public Health, PHRC No 13 7031 08). This work was sponsored by the University Hospital of Toulouse for regulatory and ethic submission (contact: Aline Meulle

  • Disclaimer Study sponsor has no role in the study design, analysis of data or any other decision related to the study management.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent Parental/guardian consent obtained.

  • Ethics approval The DETECT study received ethical approval from the local institutional review board (No 2-14-23, 9 September 2014).

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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