The Relational Change and Grief in Dementia study is looking to gain information that will help professionals give advice to those who are newly diagnosed with dementia about what might help them and their family carer maintain their relationship.

In order to do this, the study team are aiming to gather information from people with dementia and their carers about how they have sustained their relationship during the early stages of dementia, for example what they enjoy doing together and what has changed/stayed the same since the diagnosis.
Anna Colquhoun is the lead researcher for the study, and she answers some of our questions.

Anna Colquhoun, Lead Investigator for the study

Anna Colquhoun, Lead Investigator for the study

What are the main aims of the Relational Change and Grief in Dementia study? What do you hope the outcomes of the study will be?

The purpose of the study is to speak with families about how dementia affects their relationships, to find out how families support each other and navigate the stressful changes that dementia can cause. This is important as throughout the dementia journey the main source of care and support is usually family members, such as partners or adult children. The idea is that we can use the experiences of others to understand better how people manage, and what might make it easier or more difficult for some people. Secondly we hope to generate some ideas to help professionals advise and support people who have been diagnosed with dementia and their families. The results of the study will be shared through the Alzheimer’s Society as well as published in research journals.

What does it involve for a participant? Is it a one-off visit?

If you choose to take part we would meet once to complete an interview. This would be with the researcher, person with dementia and main family carer together. The researcher would ask you both some questions; this usually this takes about 1 hour. The questions focus on different aspects of your relationship such as supporting each other and spending time together.

You can choose to be seen at home or meet with the researcher at Cardiff University. We hope that people find it interesting to reflect on their relationship as husband and wife, or parent and child and talk with the researcher about that, as well as knowing they are contributing to research.

Where is the study based?

This study is based in Cardiff, and recruiting throughout South Wales. We are hoping to speak to around 10-12 pairs to get some detailed information about their experiences.
Who is eligible to take part?

We are looking for volunteers who:
• Are living in their own home
• Have a diagnosis of dementia (any kind)
• Have a family member who would be identified as your carer and willing to take part in the interview– the family member can be either your partner or your adult child if they are closely involved in supporting you
• Live within 40 miles of Cardiff.


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You can see if you are eligible for this study, as well as others around the nation, by logging into your Join Dementia Research account.

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