Efficacy of cognitive stimulation therapy for older adults with vascular dementia

<div><p>ABSTRACT. Background: Cognitive stimulation therapy (CST) is an evidence-based psychosocial intervention for people with mild-to-moderate dementia due to various etiological factors. Objective: The aim of the present study was to assess the efficacy of the CST program, Italian adaptation -CST-IT-, in individuals who have vascular dementia (VaD). Methods: Older adults with mild-to-moderate VaD (N = 35) were assigned to one of two programs: one group (N = 21) attended the 14 sessions of the CST-IT program, while the other, active control group (N = 14) took part in alternative activities. The following domains were examined: cognitive functioning, quality of life, mood, behavior, functional activities of daily living. Results: Compared with the active controls, the CST-IT group showed a greater improvement in general cognitive functioning after the intervention (i.e. score increase on the Mini-Mental State Examination and decrease on the Alzheimer's Disease Assessment Scale – Cognitive subscale). A trend towards improvement was also identified in short-term/working memory – the backward digit span task- and perceived quality of life (Quality of Life – Alzheimer's Disease scale). No significant differences emerged between the two groups for the other domains considered. Conclusion: The present results support the efficacy of CST in people with vascular dementia.</p></div>