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Psychosocial therapies for people with dementia

Talking Time - REHAB

​Talking Time - REHAB: Telephone-based aftercare groups for family caregivers of people with dementia

Contact: Dr. Dipl.-Psych. M. Berwig (, Dipl.-Soz.-arb./-päd. S. Lessing

External Cooperation: Prof. Dr. Dipl.- Soz. R. Deck (University of Lübeck, Institut für Sozialmedizin und Epidemiologie, ISE), Chefärztin Dr. V. Hillmer (AMEOS Reha-Klinikum Ratzeburg)

Medical rehabilitation (rehab) helps to relieve family caregivers and provides them with strategies to cope with stress. While rehabilitation is effective, it is often not sustainable. The Talking Time-REHAB project offers family caregivers monthly follow-up groups, via telephone, for the first six months after rehabilitation. Participation in the aftercare groups is assessed to determine whether it leads to more social participation of the caregivers and whether the health-related effects can be stabilized or increased after rehabilitation. For this purpose, the participants are compared with family caregivers who have not received any further aftercare following rehabilitation. If successful, the procedure can be applied in other rehabilitation facilities nationwide. The principle of telephone-based aftercare can also be adopted and adapted for other indications.

Duration: 01.03.2018 - 28.02.2021

Financing: Innovations Fond Funding Programme of the Joint National Committee (Gemeinsamer Bundesausschuss, G-BA) in Germany


​CORDIAL: Cognitive Rehabilitation and Cognitive-behavioral Treatment for Early Dementia in Alzheimer Disease

Contact: Dr. A. Thöne-Otto (

External Cooperation: Prof. K. Werheid  (Humbold University, Berlin), Prof. A. Kurz; Prof. Wagenpfeil (TU München); Prof. H.J. Gertz (Universitätsklinikum Leipzig); Prof. L. Fröhlich (ZI Mannheim).

Cognitive rehabilitation (CR) is a promising treatment approach for older adults with dementia because it aims at supporting the management of day-to-day problems. However, there is insufficient evidence regarding whether CR provides clinically meaningful benefits. In this study we evaluated the feasibility, acceptance, efficacy, and usefulness of a CR intervention in a multicenter, randomized, controlled trial with 201 mild dementia in Alzheimer patients and their caregivers. The intervention was comprised of 12 individual weekly sessions and combined 4 established strategies adopted from neurorehabilitation and psychotherapy. Activities of daily living were chosen as the primary outcome measure. The results show that the feasibility, treatment adherence, and caregiver commitment were all excellent. While no effect of the intervention was demonstrable on everyday functioning, there were improvements favoring the intervention on quality of life and treatment satisfaction as well as a significant antidepressant effect in female participants. The lack of impact on everyday activities may be due to methodological limitations, including insufficient personalization, short treatment duration, poor transfer into a real-life setting, or low sensitivity of the assessment instruments. The findings of this study may be helpful for designing further studies that are needed to determine the potential of CR in older adults with dementia.

Duration: 01.03.2018 - 28.02.2021

Type of financing: Federal Ministry of Health (Funding opportunity "Lighthouse projects dementia")

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