Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour
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Thesis defense Maartje de Werd (Donders series 276)

1 June 2017

Promotor: prof. dr. R. Kessels

Errorless learning in dementia

This thesis presents an overview of the development and evaluation of an errorless learning (EL) manual, the validity and reliability of a new assessment procedure to rate the performance of everyday-life tasks and the examination of the effectiveness of EL in the Randomized Controlled Trial (RCT). The EL working instructions in the manual were well received by professionals working in dementia care and were found to be feasible. The newly developed assessment tool was found to be reliable, valid and easy-to-perform, and can be used for measuring everyday-task performance in clinical trials. The results from the REDALI-DEM RCT showed that while task performance improved after the EL intervention, it did not have an additional effect compared to traditional Trial-and-Error learning. Future studies should therefore focus on the factors that determine learning success in individual patients rather than group averages. Still, the results shows that EL can be successfully implemented in the clinical practice of dementia care, but more research is needed on predictors of successful outcome.