Dr Eneida Mioshi
Interaction of intrinsic and extrinsic factors underpinning functional disability in dementia
Alzheimer's disease & other dementias
The aim of this fellowship is to determine intrinsic and extrinsic factors associated with functional disability at different stages of dementia, so that modifiable factors can be identified, leading to novel therapeutic approaches to minimise functional impairment and improve patient care.
More specifically, the proposed fellowship will address four research questions: (1) Which intrinsic (inherent to dementia) and extrinsic (external; i.e. home and carer issues) factors affect functional disability in the mild, moderate and severe stages of dementia? (2) What is the relative importance of carer burden and carer interaction to functional disability in each dementia stage? (3) Which factors can predict functional decline over a 12-month period? (4) Can evidence-based information on functional disability be applied to the development of a novel therapeutic approach? These four research questions will be operationalized through four linked work packages, utilising robust dementia assessments of functional disability, dementia symptoms, home environment and carer issues such as burden, carer skills and coping strategies in mixed methodological approaches (quantitative and qualitative). The target outcome of this fellowship is the production of a pilot toolkit for activity engagement in dementia which will have two core parts: a carer skills package, which will be followed by activity planning skills (for analysis and simplification of activities).
The innovative approach developed for this fellowship proposal will lead to knowledge that could support the planning of health care, prediction of families who will require intensive support in the future, as well as original information bridging clinical care and scientific research.