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INTRODUCTION: Trials of effectiveness of treatment options for depression in dementia are an important priority. METHODS: Randomized controlled trial to assess adapted Problem Adaptation Therapy (PATH) for depression in mild/moderate dementia caused by Alzheimer's disease. RESULTS: Three hundred thirty-six participants with mild or moderate dementia, >7 on Cornell Scale for Depression in Dementia (CSDD), randomized to adapted PATH or treatment as usual. Mean age 77.0 years, 39.0% males, mean Mini-Mental State Examination 21.6, mean CSDD 12.9. For primary outcome (CSDD at 6 months), no statistically significant benefit with adapted PATH on the CSDD (6 months: -0.58; 95% CI -1.71 to 0.54). The CSDD at 3 months showed a small benefit with adapted PATH (-1.38; 95% CI -2.54 to -0.21) as did the EQ-5D (-4.97; 95% CI -9.46 to -0.48). DISCUSSION: An eight-session course of adapted PATH plus two booster sessions administered within NHS dementia services was not effective treatment for depression in people with mild and moderate dementia. Future studies should examine the effect of more intensive and longer-term therapy.

Original publication




Journal article


Alzheimers Dement

Publication Date



Alzheimer's disease, clinical trial, depression, mood, problem adaptation therapy, psychological, psychotherapy