Implementation Science in Thailand: Design and Methods of a Geriatric Mental Health Cluster-Randomized Trial
BACKGROUND: Thailand has a rapidly aging population yet lacks evidence for effective and scalable evidence-based psychosocial interventions to support persons living with dementia and their family caregivers. In this study of a culturally adapted and evidence-based clinical program (Reducing Disabilities in Alzheimer’s Disease [RDAD]), designed to reduce behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia in older adults, the authors test the hypothesis that an implementation support strategy, Getting To Outcomes (GTO), would produce better implementation and clinical outcomes compared with usual implementation of RDAD in Thailand.
METHODS: The study uses a hybrid type III cluster-randomized design to compare eight geographical districts that receive training on both implementing the RDAD clinical intervention and on GTO implementation support strategies (intervention arm) with eight other districts that receive the same RDAD training but without training in GTO implementation support strategies (control arm). GTO is an evidence-based intervention designed to support implementers to better plan, implement, and evaluate innovative intervention programs in a novel setting. Primary outcomes, including implementation and clinical outcomes, will be assessed at baseline, month 3 (posttreatment), and month 6 (3-month follow-up).
RESULTS: The research team anticipates that there will be significantly more improvements in the delivery of the RDAD intervention program in the experimental group than in the control group.
NEXT STEPS: If clinical trial findings are positive, the authors plan to replicate and scale up the proposed implementation science approach across Thailand to enhance and expand mental health services for older adults with dementia.
Chen, H., Levkoff, S., Chuengsatiansup, K., Sihapark, S., Hinton, L., Gallagher-Thompson, D., . . . Marques, A. H. (2021). Implementation Science in Thailand: Design and Methods of a Geriatric Mental Health Cluster-Randomized Trial. Psychiatr Serv, appips202000028. doi:10.1176/appi.ps.202000028