Multi-modal, non-pharmacological intervention for sleep disturbances in nursing home residents with dementia: a cluster-randomized controlled exploratory trial

Project Overview

Duration:2019 – 2021
Project Management:Prof. Dr. Margareta Halek
Projectcoordination:Martin N. Dichter, PhD
Project Staff:Jonas Dörner
Collaboration:Prof. Dr. Sascha Köpke, Universität zu Lübeck
Prof. Dr. Gabriele Meyer, Martin-Luther Universität Halle-Wittenberg


Sleep disturbances occur frequently in people with dementia. The present state of research shows that there is no effective pharmacological intervention to manage sleep problems in people with dementia in different settings. Furthermore there is currently no “gold standard” intervention for sleep disturbances in this target group. The existing non-pharmacological interventions are characterized with a high heterogeneity between each other and therefore little is known e.g. about interventions circumstances, challenges of implementation into care processes and how nurses judge and apply interventions.

Project Aims

The study aims to develop a multi-modal, non-pharmacological intervention to reduce or avoid sleep disturbances in people with dementia in nursing homes and reduce caregiver distress.


The research project is divided in a pre-study and a main study phase. Within the first phase a multicomponent intervention will be developed. In the development process the current evidence will be included. Additionally perspectives of important stakeholder groups will be integrated. The pre-study includes a systematic review of non-pharmacological complex interventions to reduce sleep disturbances, participating night-time observations, expert interviews with registered nurses, and a preparatory instrument testing. The main study consists of an exploratory randomized study in which the developed intervention is evaluated for the first time.

More Information on:


Expected Results

The systematic review of non-pharmacological complex interventions to reduce sleep problems has been completed. Data collection is currently underway within the framework of the preliminary study.



Jonas Dörner
Research Associate
Stockumer Str. 12
+49 2302 926-238

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