The GREAT Trial will appear on Horizon on 11th May 2016.

The GREAT Trial will appear on Horizon and you can read about the episode on the BBC Horizon website.

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April 2016

GREAT trial will be featured on BBC Two's Horizon on Wednesday, 11th May, 8pm. The episode will show an interview with the study lead Professor Linda Clare, and therapy sessions with the therapist Sue Evans and a study participant from the North Wales site. We are excited that more people will hear about the potential benefits of cognitive rehabilitation for people living with dementia. The episode will be available on iPlayer for a month after the transmission. You can read about the episode on the BBC Horizon website.

March 2016

Fantastic end of recruitment in GREAT: we have met our target!

We aimed to recruit 480 people with early-stage Alzheimer’s disease, vascular dementia or mixed Alzheimer’s and vascular dementia. By the end of March 2016, 537 people with early-stage dementia agreed to take part in the study, of which 475 completed all the baseline assessment measures and were randomised to one of the study groups.

With this impressive sample size we will be able to provide rigorous evidence regarding the clinical and cost-efficacy of goal-oriented cognitive rehabilitation for people with early-stage dementia, and their families.  

CONGRATULATIONS and THANK YOU to everyone involved in helping to identify and recruit participants to the trial over the past three years!

Spring 2015

Congratulations to Professor Linda Clare!

Professor Linda Clare, the Chief Investigator of the GREAT study, has accepted a post at the University of Exeter and the NIHR HTA grant funding GREAT and the sponsorship will transfer from Bangor University to the University of Exeter. The Trial Manager currently based in Bangor will also transfer to Exeter during 2015. There are no changes to the local research teams and we will continue to receive all correspondence relating to GREAT. Please contact us if you would like more details about the transfer of the co-ordinating centre from Bangor University to the University of Exeter.

Winter 2014

Over 200 participants randomised so far!

We have been recruiting people with dementia at various sites in England and Wales since April 2013, and recently we celebrated our 200th randomisation. This is a brilliant achievement for everyone involved in the project! We would like to say a big THANK YOU to everyone who is supporting the trial and referring people with early-stage dementia. However, we are still some way off reaching our ambitious target of 480 participants, and so we aim to continue working closely with clinic staff in order to make 2015 a successful year of recruitment.

New research sites and PIC sites

2014 has been a busy year for the GREAT team. In order to achieve our ambitious recruitment target of 3 participants a month, we have established new sources of recruitment. The Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust has been added as a research site, and the following are new Participant Identification Centre (PIC) sites: Royal United Hospital Bath NHS Trust, Pennine Care NHS Foundation Trust, and several GP Practices in the Wiltshire area. We are delighted to welcome these new sites to the GREAT team and look forward to a successful year of recruitment in 2015.

New qualitative sub-study

We have added a qualitative sub-study exploring the way in which the cognitive rehabilitation intervention was experienced by participants in the treatment group. We aim to interview up to 40 participants completing the intervention, and their carers, to gain insight into what aspects of the therapy were found particularly challenging or helpful. This will help us to understand the process of therapy, provide further information about the efficacy of cognitive rehabilitation, and enable the study participants to contribute their views and experiences to evaluation of the treatment. So far, over 10 participants have been interviewed at the Bangor site, and interviews will commence at the Cardiff and Manchester sites in February 2015.

Summer 2014

Training for the project team

The GREAT project team have been busy over the Summer months with training events and recruitment. Due to the widespread location of the research sites, the researchers and therapists receive monthly supervision via teleconference. However, once a year they meet in person at Bangor University, the coordinating site for the trial, to undertake additional training. In June 2014, the researchers shared their experiences of setting goals with participants so far and the therapists discussed the delivery of cognitive rehabilitation during their therapy sessions with participants. There were also role-playing activities and case study presentations.

New video!

The research team members at the Bangor site have found time in between visiting participants to star in a short video describing their roles in the trial. The video is designed for potential participants and we hope that clinical staff find it useful when talking to potential participants about the trial.

Recruitment update

Recruitment is progressing steadily across the research sites (see the figure below). By the end of August 2014, 202 people consented to take part in the study and 159 of them had been randomised. 122 participants had completed their 3-month follow-up assessment visit and 49 participant had completed their 9-month follow-up assessment visit and completed the study.

August 2014

However, we are currently 74 participants behind our overall target number of randomisations (see the figure below). Recruitment at the research sites is supported by local research networks who liaise with memory clinic staff to recruit eligible people with dementia into the trial. Some memory clinic teams are also helping with recruitment by identifying and actively approaching potential participants about the trial, which is a fantastic boost to our recruitment rate!

August 2014 overall

Recruitment in April 2014

So far, the researchers have randomised 126 participants. This means that we have already reached 26% of our target, which is fantastic news! In order to make sure that we visit enough people, the research teams continue to liaise with memory clinic teams, local research network teams, and give talks at support groups to get more people involved in the study.

April 2014

October 2013

The GREAT trial officially started in October 2012. The recruitment phase was preceded by a busy period of study set-up. First the ethics approval and the NHS permissions were arranged and subcontracts with the research sites were signed off. Research staff were appointed and the trial documents and instructions were prepared. The identification of potential participants commenced in April 2013 in Bangor, Bath and Birmingham, with Cardiff, London and Manchester joining in over the following months. Now that the study is up and running, the efforts of the team focus on ensuring the timely recruitment and the efficient delivery of the study. You can keep up-to-date with the study's progress by checking this website regularly!

Recruitment in September 2013

In total, we aim to consent 480 people with dementia to the study between April 2013 and September 2015. This means that each research centre needs to recruit three participants a month in order to recruit 80 participants by September 2015.

The figures below show the number of participants that were consented by the end of October 2013 in each research centre and the overall progress with recruitment.