The tailored activity program (TAP) to address behavioral disturbances in frontotemporal dementia: a feasibility and pilot study

Claire M O'Connor, Lindy Clemson, Henry Brodaty, Lee-Fay Low, Yun-Hee Jeon, Laura N Gitlin, Olivier Piguet, Eneida Mioshi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Citations (Scopus)
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Purpose: To explore the feasibility of implementing the Tailored Activity Program with a cohort of people with frontotemporal dementia and their carers (dyads). Methods: The Tailored Activity Program is an occupational therapy based intervention that involves working collaboratively with family carers and prescribes personalized activities for behavioral management in people with dementia. Twenty dyads randomized into the study (Tailored Activity Program: n = 9; Control: n = 11) were assessed at baseline and 4-months. Qualitative analyzes evaluated feasibility and acceptability of the program for the frontotemporal dementia cohort, and quantitative analyzes (linear mixed model analyzes, Spearman’s rho correlations) measured the impact of the program on the dyads. Results: The Tailored Activity Program was an acceptable intervention for the frontotemporal dementia dyads. Qualitative analyses identified five themes: “carer perceived benefits”, “carer readiness to change”, “strategies used by carer to engage person with dementia”, “barriers to the Tailored Activity Program uptake/implementation”, and “person with dementia engagement”. Quantitative outcomes showed an overall reduction of behavioral symptoms (F 18.34 = 8.073, p = 0.011) and maintenance of functional performance in the person with dementia (F 18.03 = 0.375, p = 0.548). Conclusions: This study demonstrates the potential for using an activity-based intervention such as the Tailored Activity Program in frontotemporal dementia. Service providers should recognize that while people with frontotemporal dementia present with challenging issues, tailored therapies may support their function and reduce their behavioral symptoms.Implications for rehabilitation The Tailored Activity Program is an occupational therapy based intervention that involves prescribing personalized activities for behavioral management in dementia. The Tailored Activity Program is an acceptable and feasible intervention approach to address some of the unique behavioral and functional impairments inherent in frontotemporal dementia.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)299-310
Number of pages12
JournalDisability and Rehabilitation
Issue number3
Early online date15 Oct 2017
Publication statusPublished - 30 Jan 2019


  • frontotemporal dementia
  • dementia
  • Tailored Activity Program
  • activities of daily living
  • behaviour
  • randomised-controlled trial

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