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Feasibility study of an optimised person-centred intervention to improve mental health and reduce antipsychotics amongst people with dementia in care homes: study protocol for a randomised controlled trial


Whitaker, Rhiannon, Ballard, Clive, Stafford, Jane, Orrell, Martin, Moniz-Cook, Esme, Woods, Robert T, Murray, Joanna, Knapp, Martin, Carlton, Barbara Woodward, Fossey, Jane


Trials, Volume: 14, Pages.: 13-13

Year of Publication



Background: People living in care homes often have complex mental and physical health problems, disabilities and social needs which are compounded by the use of psychiatric and other drugs. In the UK dementia care is a national priority with a vast impact on services. WHELD combines the most effective elements of existing approaches to develop a comprehensive but practical intervention. This will be achieved by training care staff to provide care that is focused on an understanding of the individual and their needs; and by using additional components such as exercise, activities and social interaction to improve mental health and quality of life (QoL) and reduce the use of sedative drugs.; Design: Work Package 3 (WP3) is the pilot randomised trial and qualitative evaluation to help develop a future definitive randomised controlled clinical trial. The study design is a cluster randomised 2x2x2 factorial design with two replications in 16 care homes. Each care home is randomized to receive one of the eight possible permutations of the four key interventions, with each possible combination delivered in two of the 16 homes. Each cluster includes a minimum of 12 participants (depending upon size of the care home, the number of people with dementia and the number consenting).; Discussion: The overarching goal of the programme is to provide an effective, simple and practical intervention which improves the mental health of, and reduces sedative drug use in, people with dementia in care homes and which can be implemented nationally in all UK care homes as an NHS intervention.; Trial Registration: Current controlled trials ISRCTN40313497.;

Bibtex Citation

@article{Whitaker_2013, doi = {10.1186/1745-6215-14-13}, url = {}, year = 2013, publisher = {Springer Nature}, volume = {14}, number = {1}, pages = {13}, author = {Rhiannon Whitaker and Clive Ballard and Jane Stafford and Martin Orrell and Esme Moniz-Cook and Robert T Woods and Joanna Murray and Martin Knapp and Barbara Woodward Carlton and Jane Fossey}, title = {Feasibility study of an optimised person-centred intervention to improve mental health and reduce antipsychotics amongst people with dementia in care homes: study protocol for a randomised controlled trial}, journal = {Trials} }


antipsychotic agents, clinical protocols, dementia, diagnosis, drug costs, drug therapy, economics, feasibility studies, great britain, health services for the aged, homes for the aged, humans, interpersonal relations, mental health, nursing homes, pilot projects, psychology, quality of life, research design, therapeutic use, therapy, time factors, treatment outcome

Countries of Study


Types of Dementia

Dementia (general / unspecified)

Types of Study

Cost and service use study, Randomised Controlled Trial

Type of Outcomes

Behaviour, Depression and Anxiety, Quality of Life of Person With Dementia, Service use or cost reductions (incl. hospital use reduction, care home admission delay)


Nursing Homes

Type of Interventions

Workforce oriented interventions

Workforce Interventions

Professional Training / Continuing Professional Development