Ladies chatting

Welcome to GREAT

As the GREAT trial has ended, we are now implementing cognitive rehabilitation by offering training to staff in NHS Trusts and social care organisations providing care to people with dementia. Alzheimer’s Society is funding a new study, called GREAT into Practice, to see if this approach can be incorporated into routine practice so that people with dementia can benefit. 

If you would like further information about the GREAT into Practice please contact the research team, Dr Krystal Warmoth at or Professor Linda Clare at


‌***You can download leaflets about cognitive rehabilitation for people with dementia and register to receive information about free guides to cognitive rehabilitation if they become available in the future. You can also download a Guide to Psychosocial Interventions in Early Stages of Dementia from the British Psychological Society website.***

Goal-oriented Cognitive Rehabilitation in Early-stage Alzheimer’s and Related Dementias: Multi-centre Single-blind Randomised Controlled Trial (GREAT)

The GREAT trial (short title: Living Well with Memory Difficulties) is a large multi-centre trial led by Professor Linda Clare, who developed the cognitive rehabilitation approach for people with memory difficulties and led the pilot study. The trial is co-ordinated from the University of Exeter and is taking place in eight areas in England and Wales. The trial will provide definitive evidence about whether goal-oriented cognitive rehabilitation is a clinically-effective and cost-effective intervention for people with early-stage dementia and their family, friends and/or carers.

The study is funded by the Health Technology Assessment Programme of the National Institute for Health Research (HTA reference 11/15/04), as part of the £22 million investment announced by the Government to fund leading-edge research into the cause, care and prevention of dementia.

Participant Recruitment

Recruitment to GREAT ended in March 2016 with an impressive number of 537 participants enrolled in the study. Congratulations and thank you to everyone involved in helping to identify and recruit participants! Read more about recruitment to GREAT in the Participant Recruitment section. 

Why is the GREAT trial important?

There are over 750,000 people with dementia, and this figure is expected to double by 2040. People with dementia experience memory difficulties that can affect activities, relationships and enjoyment of life. As we cannot currently cure or remove memory difficulties, it is important to find out how people with memory difficulties as well as their friends, family and/or carers can live as well as possible despite these difficulties.

Early intervention offers the possibility of helping people with early-stage dementia and their carers to manage the impact of the disease on their everyday life and reduce or delay the progression of disability. Providing definitive evidence that cognitive rehabilitation helps people with dementia and their carers to live well with memory difficulties would mean that this intervention can be implemented as part of routine healthcare.

The results of the study will guide practice within the NHS and will be used to help develop the services provided by memory clinics. Towards the end of the trial we will offer training to memory clinic teams so that they can provide this kind of support. We will also develop a self-management guide for people attending memory clinics that they can use at home. We expect the results to be available in 2017.

A detailed description of the project is presented in the Study Protocol section.