OBJECTIVE: To examine the appropriateness and feasibility of cognitive rehabilitation for people with dementias associated with Parkinson's in a pilot randomised controlled study.
METHODS: This was a single-blind pilot randomised controlled trial of goal-oriented cognitive rehabilitation for dementias associated with Parkinson's. After goal setting, participants were randomised to cognitive rehabilitation (n = 10), relaxation therapy (n = 10), or treatment-as-usual (n = 9). Primary outcomes were ratings of goal attainment and satisfaction with goal attainment. Secondary outcomes included quality of life, mood, cognition, health status, everyday functioning, and carers' ratings of goal attainment and their own quality of life and stress levels. Assessments were at 2 and 6 months following randomisation.
RESULTS: At 2 months, cognitive rehabilitation was superior to treatment-as-usual and relaxation therapy for the primary outcomes of self-rated goal attainment (d = 1.63 and d = 1.82, respectively) and self-rated satisfaction with goal attainment (d = 2.04 and d = 1.84). At 6 months, cognitive rehabilitation remained superior to treatment-as-usual (d = 1.36) and relaxation therapy (d = 1.77) for self-rated goal attainment. Cognitive rehabilitation was superior to treatment as usual and/or relaxation therapy in a number of secondary outcomes at 2 months (mood, self-efficacy, social domain of quality of life, carers' ratings of participants' goal attainment) and at 6 months (delayed recall, health status, quality of life, carer ratings of participants' goal attainment). Carers receiving cognitive rehabilitation reported better quality of life, health status, and lower stress than those allocated to treatment-as-usual.
CONCLUSIONS: Cognitive rehabilitation is feasible and potentially effective for dementias associated with Parkinson's disease.