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Training persons with early-stage Alzheimer’s disease how to use an electronic medication management device: development of an intervention protocol

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  22 January 2021

Myriam Tellier*
School of rehabilitation, Université de Montréal, Montréal, Canada Center of interdisciplinary Research in Rehabilitation of Greater Montreal (CRIR), Montréal, Canada Centre de recherche de l’institut universitaire de gériatrie de Montréal (CRIUGM), Montréal, Canada
Claudine Auger
School of rehabilitation, Université de Montréal, Montréal, Canada Center of interdisciplinary Research in Rehabilitation of Greater Montreal (CRIR), Montréal, Canada
Louise Demers
School of rehabilitation, Université de Montréal, Montréal, Canada Centre de recherche de l’institut universitaire de gériatrie de Montréal (CRIUGM), Montréal, Canada
*Corresponding author. Email:



Medication management is challenging for persons with Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and their caregivers. Electronic medication management devices (eMMDs) are specifically designed to support this task. However, theory-driven interventions for eMMD training with this population are rarely described. This study aimed to develop and assess the appropriateness of an intervention protocol to train persons with early-stage AD how to use an eMMD.


Interviews with three categories of participants [persons with early-stage AD (n = 3), caregivers (n = 3), and clinicians (n = 3)] were conducted to understand medication management needs, perceived usefulness of an eMMD, and to explore training strategies. Subsequently, this knowledge was integrated in an intervention protocol which was validated with the three clinicians. A content analysis led to iterative modifications to maximize the acceptability and coherence of the intervention protocol in a homecare context.


The final intervention protocol specifies the expertise required to provide the training intervention and the target population, followed by an extensive presentation of eMMD features. Specific learning strategies tailored to the cognitive profile of persons with AD with step-by-step instructions for clinicians are included. Finally, it presents theoretical information on cognitive impairment in AD and how eMMDs can support them.


This intervention protocol with its theoretical and pragmatic foundation is an important starting point to enable persons with early-stage AD to become active users of eMMDs. Next steps should evaluate the immediate and long-term impacts of its implementation on medication management in the daily lives of persons with AD and their caregivers.

© The Author(s), 2021. Published by Cambridge University Press on behalf of Australasian Society for the Study of Brain Impairment

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