This site uses cookies to measure how you use the website so it can be updated and improved based on your needs and also uses cookies to help remember the notifications you’ve seen, like this one, so that we don’t show them to you again. If you could also tell us a little bit about yourself, this information will help us understand how we can support you better and make this site even easier for you to use and navigate.

Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) for anxiety in people with dementia: study protocol for a randomised controlled trial


Spector, Aimee, Orrell, Martin, Lattimer, Miles, Hoe, Juanita, King, Michael, Harwood, Kate, Qazi, Afifa, Charlesworth, Georgina


Trials, Volume: 13, Pages.: 197-197

Year of Publication



Background: Many people with dementia experience anxiety, which can lead to decreased independence, relationship difficulties and increased admittance to care homes. Anxiety is often treated with antipsychotic medication, which has limited efficacy and serious side effects. Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is widely used to treat anxiety in a range of populations, yet no RCTs on CBT for anxiety in dementia exist. This study aims to develop a CBT for anxiety in dementia manual and to determine its feasibility in a pilot RCT.; Methods/design: Phase I involves the development of a CBT for anxiety in dementia manual, through a process of (1) focus groups, (2) comprehensive literature reviews, (3) expert consultation, (4) a consensus conference and (5) field testing. Phase II involves the evaluation of the manual with 50 participants with mild to moderate dementia and anxiety (and their carers) in a pilot, two-armed RCT. Participants will receive either ten sessions of CBT or treatment as usual. Primary outcome measures are anxiety and costs. Secondary outcome measures are participant quality of life, behavioural disturbance, cognition, depression, mood and perceived relationship with the carer, and carer mood and perceived relationship with the person with dementia. Measures will be administered at baseline, 15 weeks and 6 months. Approximately 12 qualitative interviews will be used to gather service-users’ perspectives on the intervention.; Discussion: This study aims to determine the feasibility of CBT for people with anxiety and dementia and provide data on the effect size of the intervention in order to conduct a power analysis for a definitive RCT. The manual will be revised according to qualitative and quantitative findings. Its publication will enable its availability throughout the NHS and beyond.; Trial Registration: ISRCTN64806852.;

Bibtex Citation

@article{Spector_2012, doi = {10.1186/1745-6215-13-197}, url = {}, year = 2012, month = {oct}, publisher = {Springer Nature}, volume = {13}, number = {1}, author = {Aimee Spector and Martin Orrell and Miles Lattimer and Juanita Hoe and Michael King and Kate Harwood and Afifa Qazi and Georgina Charlesworth}, title = {Cognitive behavioural therapy ({CBT}) for anxiety in people with dementia: study protocol for a randomised controlled trial}, journal = {Trials} }


affect, anxiety, caregivers, cognition, cognitive therapy, complications, costbenefit analysis, dementia, depression, diagnosis, economics, england, feasibility studies, health care costs, humans, interpersonal relations, interviews as topic, pilot projects, psychiatric status rating scales, psychology, quality of life, research design, singleblind method, therapy, time factors, treatment outcome

Countries of Study


Types of Dementia

Dementia (general / unspecified)

Types of Study

Cost and service use study, Focus Group, Randomised Controlled Trial

Type of Outcomes

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

Type of Interventions

Non-pharmacological Treatment

Non-Pharmaceutical Interventions

Behavioural Therapies