Feasibility and potential effects of interdisciplinary home-based reablement program (I-HARP) for people with cognitive and functional decline: a pilot trial

Yun Hee Jeon, Luisa Krein, Judy M. Simpson, Sarah L. Szanton, Lindy Clemson, Sharon L. Naismith, Lee Fay Low, Loren Mowszowski, Peter Gonski, Richard Norman, Laura N. Gitlin, Henry Brodaty

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Objectives: To test feasibility and potential effects of the interdisciplinary Home-bAsed Reablement Program (I-HARP) that integrates evidence-based strategies and cognitive rehabilitation techniques into a dementia-specific, bio-behavioural-environmental intervention. Methods: A parallel-group randomised controlled pilot trial was conducted in Sydney, Australia, targeting community-dwelling people with amnestic mild cognitive impairment or mild/moderate stages of dementia and their carer (n = 18 dyads). I-HARP comprised: up to 12 home visits by registered nurse, occupational therapist, and psychologist, tailored to the individual client’s needs; <A$1000 for home modification/assistive devices; and individual carer support, all provided over four months. Additional allied health services were recommended when necessary. Clients’ daily activities, mobility, mood, caregiver burden, and quality of life were assessed at baseline, four months and 12 months. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with I-HARP participants post intervention. Results: Of 51 dyads who expressed interest in participation, 25 were eligible, with 76% consent rate (19/25 eligible dyads consented), and high adherence to the program (all nine intervention group participants completed and complied). Challenges included: need for better carer and allied health support, with more targeted recruitment points to speed up the process. The I-HARP group showed favourable effects across most outcomes at short-term (4 months) and longer-term (12 months) assessments. However, wide Confidence Intervals (CIs) point to the degree of uncertainty around interpretation of these results. Conclusion: The delivery of I-HARP, a dementia-specific reablement program and the trial design concerning randomisation, screening and consent procedures, were deemed feasible, acceptable and appropriate for the target population group. Building on the success and lessons from the pilot, a larger trial is currently underway.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1916-1925
Number of pages10
JournalAging and Mental Health
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1 2020


  • Dementia
  • cognitive rehabilitation
  • community care
  • interdisciplinary teamwork
  • reablement

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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