Background: To address the lack of social interaction and meaningful activities for persons with dementia (PWD) in nursing homes an artistic Photo-Activity was designed. The present study aims to develop a digital version of the Photo-Activity and to investigate its implementation and impact on nursing home residents with advanced dementia, and their (in)formal carers.
Methods: First, within a user-participatory design, a digital-app version of the Photo-Activity will be developed and pilot-tested, in co-creation with (in)formal carers and PWD. Next, the feasibility and effectiveness of the Photo-Activity versus a control activity will be explored in a randomized controlled trial with nursing home residents (N=90), and their (in)formal carers. Residents will be offered the Photo-
Activity or the control activity by (in)formal carers during one month. Measurements will be conducted by independent assessors at baseline (T0), after one month (T1) and at follow up, two weeks after T1 (T2). Qualitative and quantitative methods will be used to investigate the effects of the intervention on mood, social interaction and quality of life of the PWD, sense of competence of informal carers, empathy and personal attitude of the formal carers, and quality of the relationship between the PWD, and their (in)formal carers. In addition, a process evaluation will be carried out by means of semi-structured interviews with the participating residents and (in)formal carers.
Finally, an implementation package based on the process evaluation will be developed, allowing the scaling up of the intervention to other care institutions.
Discussion: Results of the trial will be available for dissemination by Spring 2023. The digital Photo-Activity is expected to promote meaningful connections between the resident with dementia, and their (in)formal carers through the facilitation of person-centered conversations.
Trial registration: Netherlands Trial Register: NL9219; registered (21 January 2021); NTR (trialregister.nl)