Enhancing caregivers understanding of dementia and tailoring activities in frontotemporal dementia: Two case studies

Claire M. O'Connor*, Lindy Clemson, Henry Brodaty, Laura N. Gitlin, Olivier Piguet, Eneida Mioshi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: The purpose of this study is to describe the intervention process and results of the Tailored Activities Program (TAP) in two people diagnosed with Frontotemporal Dementia (FTD). Method: TAP is an occupational therapy (OT) community-based intervention program that prescribes personalised activities to reduce difficult behaviours of dementia. The OT works with carers over a 4-month period (assessment, activity prescription and generalisation of strategies). Study measures were collected (blind researcher) pre- and post-intervention: cognition, functional disability, behavioural symptoms and Caregiver Confidence and Vigilance. Results: A 51-year-old woman with behavioural-variant FTD could consistently engage in more activities post-intervention, with scores indicating improvements to behaviour, function and caregiver confidence. A 63-year-old man with semantic variant FTD engaged well in the prescribed activities, with scores reflecting reduced carer distress regarding challenging behaviours and improved caregiver vigilance. Conclusions: TAP is efficacious in FTD, allowing for differences in approach for FTD subtype, where behavioural symptoms are very severe and pervasive. ▸ Implications for Rehabilitation • The Tailored Activities Program is an intervention which can be tailored to account for unique behavioural and language profiles inherent across frontotemporal dementia (FTD) subtypes. • Maintaining a flexible approach when applying an intervention in FTD allows for tailoring to individual case variability within FTD subtypes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)704-714
Number of pages11
JournalDisability and Rehabilitation
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 26 Mar 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Caregivers
  • dementia
  • frontotemporal dementia
  • non-pharmacological intervention
  • occupational therapy
  • Tailored Activities Program


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