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Cognitive Stimulation Therapy – Patient Information Leaflet

Cognitive skills can be described as ‘thinking skills’ and cognition is a word used to describe thought processes. Cognitive Stimulation Therapy is a brief group treatment for people experiencing mild to moderate memory difficulties. We aim to make group sessions fun and enjoyable.

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  • What is Cognitive Stimulation Therapy (CST)?

    Cognitive skills can be described as ‘thinking skills’ and cognition is a word used to describe thought processes.

    Cognitive Stimulation Therapy is a brief group treatment for people experiencing mild to moderate memory difficulties. We aim to make group sessions fun and enjoyable.

  • How can Cognitive Stimulation Therapy help me?

    You could benefit from improvement in memory, thinking skills and quality of life.

    You may also find that you grow in confidence and develop friendships with other members of the group.

    If you find that you do not enjoy the group then your group leader will discuss this with you.

  • Why have I been approached?

    Cognitive Stimulation Therapy is suitable for people who have mild/moderate memory impairment who are able to communicate within a group.

  • What happens next?

    Before you start therapy you will work with a nurse on a number of baseline assessments such as your memory, mood and functioning.

    Following completion of therapy the assessment will be repeated to find out if any benefits have been noticed by yourself or your family.

    The assessments will be carried out on a one to one basis with a nurse, who will support you to feel as comfortable as possible during these assessments.

  • How long does the treatment last?

    The treatment involves 14 sessions of themed activities such as
    • Sound
    • Childhood
    • Food
    • Current affairs
    • Faces/scenes
    • Word association
    • Being creative
    • Categorising objects
    • Orientation
    • Using money

    During the sessions, participants take part in a number of fun activities such as word games, number games, gentle physical games and singing, as well as discussion of the theme. To facilitate the sessions staff may introduce the use of props such as a whiteboard, a soft ball, a map or fresh food.

  • Where will the sessions be held?

    Newcastle patients will attend sessions at either the Castleside Day Unit or the Memory Assessment and Management Service (MAMS), based at the Campus for Ageing and Vitality. Sessions will last approximately 45 minutes and be run by two staff members.

    Sunderland, South Tyneside and Gateshead patients will attend sessions in a location in the south of Tyne area which will last 45 minutes and be run by two to three staff members.

  • Do I still take any medication prescribed to help my memory?

    Yes, Cognitive Stimulation Therapy is recommended regardless of medication taken. It is important that the therapy is used to compliment any prescribed medication.

    The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) recognise that the use of Cognitive stimulation therapy can be beneficial in those with mild/moderate memory impairment.

  • References

    • Dementia: Supporting people with dementia and their carers in health & Social Care, Clinical guideline CG42 National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (November 2006)
    • Improved quality of life and cognitive stimulation therapy in dementia, Aging & Mental Health 2006, 10; 3 219-226. Woods, B., Thorgrimsen, L., Spector, A., Royan, L., Orrell, M.,
    • Making a difference, Aimée Spector, Lene Thorgrimsen. Bob Woods and Martin Orrell
    • Making a difference 2, Aimée Spector, Elisa Aguirre, Amy Streater, Juanita Hoe, Bob Woods and Martin Orrell

  • What if I have a comment, suggestion, compliment or complaint about the service?

    If you want to make a comment, suggestion, compliment or complaint you can:
    • talk to the people directly involved in your care
    • ask a member of staff for a feedback form, or complete a form on the Trust website www.cntw.nhs.uk (click on the ‘Contact Us’ tab)
    • telephone the Complaints Department 0191 245 6672
    • email complaints@cntw.nhs.uk Please note that information sent to the Trust via email is sent at your own risk
    • We are always looking at ways to improve services. Your feedback allows us to monitor the quality of our services and act upon issues that you bring to our attention.
    You can provide feedback in the following ways:
    - the quickest way for you to do this is to complete our short online survey at
    www.cntw.nhs.uk/poy
    - complete a Points of You survey, available from staff.

  • Information about content, other formats and version control

    Further information about the content, reference sources or production of this leaflet can be obtained from the Patient Information Centre. If you would like to tell us what you think about this leaflet please get in touch.

    This information can be made available in a range of formats on request (eg Braille, audio, larger print, easy read, BSL or other languages). Please contact the Patient Information Centre Tel: 0191 246 7288

    Published by the Patient Information Centre
    2021 Copyright, Cumbria Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust
    Ref, PIC/713/0521 May 2021 V5
    www.cntw.nhs.uk Tel: 0191 246 7288
    Review date 2024