Meeting centres support programme highly appreciated by people with dementia and carers: a European cross-country evaluation

Dorota Szcześniak, Joanna Rymaszewska, Francesca Lea Saibene, Katarzyna Małgorzata Lion, Alessia D’arma, Dawn Brooker, Shirley B. Evans, Simon C. Evans, Rabih Chattat, Claudia Scorolli, Franka Meiland, Iris Hendriks, Rose Marie Dröes, Elisabetta Farina

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: The Meeting Centres Support Programme (MCSP) offers a combined approach to providing practical, emotional and social support to people living with mild to moderately severe dementia and their family carers in the community. Methods: A mixed methods explanatory design was used. The evaluation took place within the framework of the international Joint Programme–Neurodegenerative Disease Research (JPND)–MEETINGDEM study in nine Meeting Centres in Italy, Poland and the United Kingdom. Eighty-seven people with dementia and 81 family carers completed a user evaluation survey after three months and 83 people with dementia and 84 carers after 6 months of participation in MCSP. Thirty-two people with dementia and 30 carers took part in focus groups after nine months. Results: The percentage of people with dementia who were very satisfied with the programme increased significantly over time (p = 0.05). The majority of carers reported that they felt less burdened after three months of participation in MCSP (48.1% much less; 35.4% a little less). After six months, this percentage increased significantly to 91% (p = 0.04, 57.7% much less; 33.3% little less). Focus group analysis showed that people with dementia and carers in all countries/centres improved their ability to maintain emotional balance. Conclusions: The MCSP is highly appreciated by people with dementia and carers in all countries and it confirms the results of previous research into MCSP in the Netherlands. Our findings indicate that MCSP is a model that can help its users to increase their capacity to deal with the challenges caused by dementia and can promote emotional balance.

Original languageEnglish
JournalAging and Mental Health
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - Nov 5 2019


  • day programs
  • Dementia carers
  • qualitative study
  • social support

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Phychiatric Mental Health
  • Gerontology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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