Meeting centres programme for people with dementia and carers successful in Europe!

Date published: November 27th, 2017

Meeting centres programme for people with dementia and carers successful in Europe!

The JPND-MEETINGDEM project aimed to implement and validate the by VUmc (research group prof Rose-Marie Dröes) developed successful Dutch Meeting Centres Support Programme (MCSP) for community dwelling people with dementia and their family carers in three EU countries ( Italy, Poland, UK). MCSP provides activities and person-centered interventions for people with dementia, information meetings and discussion groups for their carers, and individual consultations and plenary (social) centre meetings for both.

After exploring pathways to care, each country established initiative groups of organizational collaborators and user representatives; inventoried country/region specific facilitators/barriers to implementing MCSP; and developed an implementation plan, practical guide and toolkit, utilizing and adapting existing Dutch materials. Staff were trained and 9 Meeting Centres (MC) established (Italy-5, Poland-2, UK-2) and later another 6 MC (Italy-4, Poland-2). 

The first 9 MC participated in the controlled pre/post study into MCSP’s impact on people with dementia (behaviour, mood, quality of life/ QoL) and carers (sense of competence, mental health, loneliness, distress, experienced burden) compared to Usual Care, its cost-effectiveness and user satisfaction. Positive (moderate to large) effects were found on several quality of life aspects (feelings of belonging, positive affect and self esteem). Carers experienced less burden and carers in Italy experienced less distress from behavioural and mood symptoms of the person with dementia compared to carers who received usual care. The attendance to MCSP was high and participants, people with dementia as well as carers, were highly satisfied with the program.

Conclusion: The study shows that MCSP is transferable across countries, well accepted by its users, and has quality of life and mental health benefits for people with dementia and carers against reasonable additional costs. Dissemination of MCSP in Europe and beyond is recommended.

MEETINGDEM was funded by the EU Joint Programme Neurodegenerative Diseases research (JPND), project number JPND_HC-559-018. For more information on the project results please visit the website

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