VALID final training day photo august 2016

Sheffield Occupational Therapists met up to reflect on their participation in the Valuing Active Life in Dementia research study and to consider how the Community Occupational Therapy in Dementia – UK intervention can best be implemented in to UK occupational therapy clinical practice.

The day was facilitated by occupational therapy researchers Laura Di Bona and Jane Burgess. The general consensus was that this intervention offers a lot of potential to improve the lives of people affected by dementia and enables occupational therapists to demonstrate the unique contribution of their profession.

The ‘Valuing Active Life in Dementia’ (VALID) study is looking at the possible benefits of a programme of occupational therapy for people who have been diagnosed with dementia and those who regularly support them.


Maintaining both everyday and interesting pleasurable activities can be difficult for people with dementia as well as for those who support them. Occupational therapists assist people to continue to participate in activities despite the difficulties that they might be experiencing. They do this by helping people to try new ways of doing things. Some examples of activities are:

  • joining a local group (like a walking group, or a lunch club)
  • continuing to work in the garden
  • staying in touch with friends
  • doing jobs around the house.


They can also assist people to explore new activities.

Researchers in the Netherlands found that providing this occupational therapy programme could benefit both the person with dementia and their supporter. It was also shown to be a good use of money.  The UK research team have developed a similar occupational therapy programme to meet the needs of people living in this country. We are now testing whether this UK programme is beneficial.

We are carrying out a randomised controlled trial of the clinical and cost effectiveness of the Community Occupational Therapy in Dementia – UK intervention. Publications so far are as follows:

  • Hynes, S., et al., (2015) Exploring the need for a new UK occupational therapy intervention for people with dementia and family carers: Community Occupational Therapy in Dementia (COTiD). A focus group study. Aging & Mental Health, DOI: 10.1080/13607863.2015.1037243
  • Swinson, T., et al. (2016)Community occupational therapy for people with dementia and their family carers: A national survey of United Kingdom occupational therapy practice. British Journal of Occupational Therapy, Vol. 79, (No. 2) pp85-91
  • Wenborn, J. et al., (2016) Community occupational therapy for people with dementia and family carers (COTiD-UK) versus treatment as usual (Valuing Active Life in Dementia [VALID] programme): study protocol for a randomised controlled trial. Trials. 17:65 DOI: 10.1186/s13063-015-1150-y


You can find out more about the VALID project here.