Problem Adaptation Therapy for Individuals with Mild to Moderate Dementia and Depression (PATHFINDER)

The Pathfinder study is adapting and evaluating the use of Problem Adaptation Therapy (PATH) for people with mild-moderate dementia and depression within the NHS. PATH was originally developed for people with mild cognitive impairment and depression and their caregivers, as a talking therapy aimed at improving depression and functioning.

Using qualitative research methods, we supported the adaptation of the intervention using focus groups with healthcare practitioners and experts in the field of dementia and mental health, and one-to-one interviews with people with dementia and depression and their caregivers.

Following an initial manual development phase, we used think-aloud interview methods to pilot PATH sessions with people with dementia and their caregivers, allowing us to see what worked well from the manual and what needed further adaption. This qualitative, iterative approach to manual development has shaped the intervention that is currently being delivered as part of the randomised controlled trial, enabling us to ground it in the experiences and concerns of the people who would be receiving and delivering the therapy.