As well as causing memory problems, dementia can make it hard for people to carry out everyday tasks independently. This is partly due to the disease itself, but other factors can also play a part, such as the person's home environment and others around them.
The TASKed study’s overall aim is to determine intrinsic and extrinsic factors that affect functional disability at different stages of dementia. By doing so, we want to identify modifiable factors in order to develop and test a novel therapeutic approach which will minimise functional impairment and improve both patient care and family carer wellbeing.
We want to find out:
- which factors cause problems with everyday tasks at each stage of the disease;
- how the way a carer gives support affects a person's ability to complete tasks;
- whether we can predict how a person's abilities may change over time;
- can we use research data collected on functional disability to the development of novel therapeutic approaches?
These aims are addressed with four work packages, using a mixed quantitative and qualitative methodology. We visit our participants at home to do a standard assessment of thinking skills with the person who has dementia. We also ask the family carer questions about themselves, the person they support and the home environment.
We visit again after one year, to reassess both the person with dementia and their family carer, to identify which areas may have changed.
Finally, we use standardized assessments with the person with dementia as they complete an everyday task at home and at the Norwich Electronic Assistive Technology (NEAT) Bungalow, which helps us investigate the role of the environment in task performance.
CI: Professor Eneida Mioshi (UEA, School of Health Sciences)
PI: Kayte Russell (NSFT, Deputy Research Manager, R&D Department, Hellesdon Hospital)
Senior Research Associate (UEA): Tamara Backhouse
Research Associate (UEA): Julieta Camino
Research Associate (UEA): Trish Boyton
Research Associate (UEA): Chelsea Radakovic
Research Co-ordinator (UEA): Carmel Moore
Research Practitioner (NSFT): Emma Talbot
Clinical Studies Officer (NSFT): Lauren Wright
Research Administrator (NSFT) Tallulah Smith
The study is funded by the Alzheimer’s Society.