Cognitive Stimulation Therapy

CST, or ‘Cognitive Stimulation Therapy’, is a short  treatment for people with mild to moderate dementia. CST  is an evidence-based intervention supported by NICE guidance who recommended the use of group Cognitive Stimulation for people with mild to moderate dementia, irrespective of drug treatments received. CST is delivered in a small group setting.

CST treatment involves a series of themed activities delivered on a sessional basis with sessions delivered once or twice a week.

Sessions aim to actively stimulate and engage people with dementia, whilst providing an environment where learning and socialisation can take place.

The benefits of  CST in maintaining or even improving cognitive function and mood appear to be at least comparable to those reported with the currently available anti-dementia drugs. CST may be a way of reducing anti-psychotics prescribing.  CST treatment can be delivered by anyone who has demonstrated competence after appropriate training and who works with people with dementia such as care workers, Occupational Therapists or nurses. CST groups can take place in range of settings including residential homes, hospitals or day centres.

Practitioners can learn to provide CST treatment for people with dementia by following the CST manual or attending CST training.

The Berkshire project has the following objectives:

  • To ensure on going access to CST for people with Dementia in Reading, Wokingham and Newbury
  • to involve non-NHS agencies in delivering CST.
  • To develop the knowledge and competency of staff working in non-health settings to ensure they are capable and confident to deliver CST in line with best practice.
  • To support the initial delivery of CST followed by Maintenance CST in Day Care and Extra Care settings.
  • To expand the local CST network and support continuation and expansion of CST provision within the area.
  • To ensure CST delivers positive benefits to people with dementia

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