D-CARE: The Dementia Care Study: Design of a Pragmatic Trial of the Effectiveness and Cost Effectiveness of Health System–Based Versus Community-Based Dementia Care Versus Usual Dementia Care

David B. Reuben, Thomas M. Gill, Alan Stevens, Jeff Williamson, Elena Volpi, Maya Lichtenstein, Lee A. Jennings, Zaldy Tan, Leslie Evertson, David Bass, Lisa Weitzman, Martie Carnie, Nancy Wilson, Katy Araujo, Peter Charpentier, Can Meng, Erich J. Greene, James Dziura, Jodi Liu, Erin UngerMia Yang, Katherine Currie, Kristin M. Lenoir, Aval NaʼRee S. Green, Sitara Abraham, Ashley Vernon, Rafael Samper-Ternent, Mukaila Raji, Roxana M. Hirst, Rebecca Galloway, Glen R. Finney, Ilene Ladd, Alanna Kulchak Rahm, Pamela Borek, Peter Peduzzi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

BACKGROUND/OBJECTIVES: Although several approaches have been developed to provide comprehensive care for persons living with dementia (PWD) and their family or friend caregivers, the relative effectiveness and cost effectiveness of community-based dementia care (CBDC) versus health system–based dementia care (CBDC) and the effectiveness of both approaches compared with usual care (UC) are unknown. DESIGN: Pragmatic randomized three-arm superiority trial. The unit of randomization is the PWD/caregiver dyad. SETTING: Four clinical trial sites (CTSs) based in academic and clinical health systems. PARTICIPANTS: A total of 2,150 English- or Spanish-speaking PWD who are not receiving hospice or residing in a nursing home and their caregivers. INTERVENTIONS: Eighteen months of (1) HSDC provided by a nurse practitioner or physician's assistant dementia care specialist who works within the health system, or (2) CBDC provided by a social worker or nurse care consultant who works at a community-based organization, or (3) UC with as needed referral to the Alzheimer's Association Helpline. MEASUREMENTS: Primary outcomes: PWD behavioral symptoms and caregiver distress as measured by the Neuropsychiatric Inventory Questionnaire (NPI-Q) Severity and Modified Caregiver Strain Index scales. Secondary outcomes: NPI-Q Distress, caregiver unmet needs and confidence, and caregiver depressive symptoms. Tertiary outcomes: PWD long-term nursing home placement rates, caregiver-reported PWD functional status, cognition, goal attainment, “time spent at home,” Dementia Burden Scale-Caregiver, a composite measure of clinical benefit, Quality of Life of persons with dementia, Positive Aspects of Caregiving, and cost effectiveness using intervention costs and Medicare claims. RESULTS: The results will be reported in the spring of 2024. CONCLUSION: D-CARE will address whether emphasis on clinical support and tighter integration with other medical services has greater benefit than emphasis on social support that is tied more closely to community resources. It will also assess the effectiveness of both interventions compared with UC and will evaluate the cost effectiveness of each intervention.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2492-2499
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of the American Geriatrics Society
Volume68
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2020

Keywords

  • Alzheimer's disease
  • care coordination
  • dementia
  • pragmatic trials

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geriatrics and Gerontology

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