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First became involved in clinical research while working as physiotherapist in elderly mental health. The first project aimed to teach family members of people with dementia to undertake sensory stimulation sessions (a form of Snoezelen) with their relative. This project led to two other projects; a second study investigating the effect of Snoezelen en massage with nursing home residents with dementia, the second study was a randomised controlled trial investigating the efficacy of a carer education programme on the psychological wellbeing of family members of people with dementia. This study formed the basis for the PhD I am currently undertaking.
My current interest is the different experiences family members have in their role as a caregiver for a relative with dementia. This has been the main focus of my PhD for the past 5 years. Within this topic area I am particularly interested in the areas of coping, control beliefs and distress and how these might inform health and social services to provide caregivers with the most appropriate interventions to help caregivers care for their relatives.
Kempenaar L (2004) The role of Physiotherapy in dementia rehabilitation In: Marshall M (Ed) Perspective on Rehabilitation and Dementia Jessica Kingsley Publishers London
Kempenaar L Paul L Knussen C Donaghy M (2005) Caring for a Relative with Dementia: An Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (Poster Presentation) 21st International Conference of Alzheimer’s Disease International Istanbul Turkey