Protocol of a feasibility randomised controlled trial of Empowered Conversations: training family carers to enhance their relationships and communication with people living with dementia.
Eastham, Cassie; Mansell, Warren; Sutton, Chris; Prior, Yeliz; Keady, John; Shields, Gemma; Riley, Cathy; Bowker, Gail; Sylvestre, Yvonne; Morris, Lydia
Professor Yeliz Prior Y.Prior@salford.ac.uk
Professor of Clinical Rehabilitation
Background: Communication difficulties can cause frustration, low mood, and stress for people living with dementia and their carer. Carers should be offered training on adapting their communication skills. However, it is not common for skills-based education to examine emotional aspects of care and the effect of dementia on relationships. The Empowered Conversations (EC) training course was developed in response to a gap in service provision and has been adapted to a virtual format (Zoom). It addresses the specific psychological, relationship, and communication needs of informal and family dementia carers. The primary aim of the study is to investigate the feasibility of conducting a multi-centre randomised controlled evaluation trial of EC. Secondary aims include exploring the acceptability of delivering the intervention online and examining the optimum way of establishing cost-effectiveness.
Methods: The feasibility trial uses a pragmatic data-collector blind parallel two-group RCT design with two arms (EC intervention plus treatment as usual, and treatment as usual waitlist control). There will be a 2:1 allocation in favour of the EC-training intervention arm. 75 participants will complete baseline outcome measures exploring their role as a carer, including their physical and mental health, attitudes to caring, quality of life, and use of health and social care services. These will be repeated after six-months. Participants allocated to the treatment group who complete the course will be invited to participate in a qualitative interview discussing their experience of EC.
Discussion: The study will investigate recruitment pathways (including facilitators and barriers to recruitment), estimate retention levels and response rates to questionnaires, obtain additional evidence regarding proof of concept, and consider the most appropriate primary outcome measures and methods for evaluating cost-effectiveness. The results of the feasibility study will be used to inform the development of a multicentre randomised controlled trial in the United Kingdom.
Registration: ISRCTN15261686 (02/03/2022)
Eastham, C., Mansell, W., Sutton, C., Prior, Y., Keady, J., Shields, G., …Morris, L. (2023). Protocol of a feasibility randomised controlled trial of Empowered Conversations: training family carers to enhance their relationships and communication with people living with dementia. NIHR Open Research, 3, 36. https://doi.org/10.3310/nihropenres.13441.1
|Journal Article Type||Article|
|Acceptance Date||Aug 17, 2023|
|Online Publication Date||Jul 10, 2023|
|Publication Date||Jul 10, 2023|
|Deposit Date||Aug 23, 2023|
|Publicly Available Date||Aug 24, 2023|
|Journal||NIHR Open Research|
|Publisher||Taylor and Francis|
|Peer Reviewed||Peer Reviewed|
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