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Clinical Trial Summary

The current study builds on the empirical foundation of Mindful-Compassion Art Therapy (MCAT) to test its efficacy as a multicomponent, holistic, psycho-socio-spiritual intervention for supporting dementia family caregivers. MCAT is a group-based intervention that integrates mindfulness meditation and art therapy, with reflective awareness complementing emotional expression, to foster self-compassion and inner-resilience among professional caregivers. A wait-list RCT design is adopted to refine and extend the application of MCAT to empower self-care and resilience among 102 dementia family caregivers recruited via community-based dementia-care organizations in Singapore. The expected outcomes will advance theory and practice for sustainable dementia family caregiving in Singapore and around the globe.

Clinical Trial Description

Background: Dementia is a neurodegenerative disease that leads to irreversible decline in one's cognitive and functional capacity, identity, and personhood. In Singapore, the number of persons with dementia is expected to soar to 187,000 by 2050. Hence, it is imperative to render comprehensive support to dementia sufferers, and especially their family caregivers. While local initiatives have raised public awareness and developed services for dementia care, they do not adequately address the psycho-socio-spiritual needs of family caregivers, as caregiving stress can greatly impede one's mental and emotional health. International research for dementia family caregivers has thus focused on developing multicomponent interventions that accentuate holistic support to promote healthy and sustainable caregiving.

Objective and Methods: Building on the established MCAT protocol (Ho et al., 2019), this study will adopt a wait-list randomized controlled trial design to test the efficacy of the refined version of Mindful-Compassion Art Therapy for Dementia Care (MCAT-DC) among 102 dementia family caregivers in Singapore. This study aims to: 1) develop a disease-specific version of MCAT for Dementia Care (MCAT-DC); 2) assess MCAT-DC's effectiveness in reducing caregiver stress and burden; 3) assess MCAT-DC's effectiveness for reducing caregivers' depressive symptoms and psychophysiological distress, while enhancing resilience, hope, spirituality, meaning and quality-of-life; and 4) assess the feasibility and acceptability of a standardized MCAT-DC protocol for large-scale implementation.

Significance: MCAT is an effective psycho-social-spiritual intervention for reducing stress and promoting holistic wellbeing among professional caregivers. It has received wide recognition and distinction among palliative care and research communities for its clinical innovation and effectiveness. Given the robust evidence on MCAT's positive impact on professional caregivers, it is anticipated that a refined version of MCAT will have similar, if not greater, benefits for family caregivers. The study findings will form new knowledge to advance both theory and practice for sustainable dementia family caregiving in Singapore and around the globe. ;

Study Design

Related Conditions & MeSH terms

NCT number NCT04548089
Study type Interventional
Source Nanyang Technological University
Status Active, not recruiting
Phase N/A
Start date October 3, 2019
Completion date February 2022

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