RAIIN: Remote Sleep Disturbance Treatment for People with Dementia

Award Date: 2019

Project Lead(s): Megan O'Connell

Project Title: RAIIN – Remote Assessment and Interprofessional Intervention with Neuropsychology – Remote Treatment of Sleep Disturbance for Persons with Dementia and their Caregivers

What is the issue?

The American College of Physicians recommends cognitive behavioural therapy for insomnia as the first treatment option for people who experience chronic sleep disturbances. Up to half of the people living with dementia experience insomnia. They may also benefit from cognitive behavioural therapy.

What did we do?

We adapted the cognitive behavioural therapy approach for people with dementia who experience insomnia. Our goal was to evaluate the effectiveness of this approach and determine if it was feasible to deliver it in rural areas using telehealth. We conducted a feasibility trial among people with dementia and sleep disturbances living in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. Some participants received in-person care and others received telehealth consultations. We created a telehealth guide and expanded our study to users across the province.

What did we find?

We successfully developed a modified treatment for sleep disturbances in people with dementia. It can be delivered to people in remote locations using telehealth. We were unable to recruit study participants with advanced stages of dementia.