S Banerjee

University of Sussex, Brighton, ENG, United Kingdom

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Publications (18)37.48 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Depression is common in dementia, causing considerable distress and other negative impacts. Treating it is a clinical priority, but the evidence base is sparse and equivocal. This trial aimed to determine clinical effectiveness of sertraline and mirtazapine in reducing depression 13 weeks post randomisation compared with placebo. Multicentre, parallel-group, double-blind placebo-controlled randomised controlled trial of the clinical effectiveness of sertraline and mirtazapine with 13- and 39-week follow-up. Nine English old-age psychiatry services. A pragmatic trial. Eligibility: probable or possible Alzheimer's disease (AD), depression (4+ weeks) and Cornell Scale for Depression in Dementia (CSDD) score of 8+. Exclusions: clinically too critical (e.g. suicide risk); contraindication to medication; taking antidepressants; in another trial; and having no carer. (1) Sertraline; (2) mirtazapine; and (3) placebo, all with normal care. Target doses: 150 mg of sertraline or 45 mg of mirtazapine daily. Outcome: CSDD score. Randomisation: Allocated 1 : 1 : 1 through Trials Unit, independently of trial team. Stratified block randomisation by centre, with randomly varying block sizes; computer-generated randomisation. Blinding: Double blind: medication and placebo identical for each antidepressant. Referring clinicians, research workers, participants and pharmacies were blind. Statisticians blind until analyses completed. Numbers randomised: 326 participants randomised (111 placebo, 107 sertraline and 108 mirtazapine). Outcome: Differences in CSDD at 13 weeks from an adjusted linear-mixed model: mean difference (95% CI) placebo-sertraline 1.17 (-0.23 to 2.78; p = 0.102); placebo-mirtazapine 0.01 (-1.37 to 1.38; p = 0.991); and mirtazapine-sertraline 1.16 (-0.27 to 2.60; p = 0.112). Harms: Placebo group had fewer adverse reactions (29/111, 26%) than sertraline (46/107, 43%) or mirtazapine (44/108, 41%; p = 0.017); 39-week mortality equal, five deaths in each group. This is a trial with negative findings but important clinical implications. The data suggest that the antidepressants tested, given with normal care, are not clinically effective (compared with placebo) for clinically significant depression in AD. This implies a need to change current practice of antidepressants being the first-line treatment of depression in AD. From the data generated we formulated the following recommendations for future work. (1) The secondary analyses presented here suggest that there would be value in carrying out a placebo-controlled trial of the clinical effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of mirtazapine in the management of Behavioural and Psychological Symptoms of Dementia. (2) A conclusion from this study is that it remains both ethical and essential for trials of new medication for depression in dementia to have a placebo arm. (3) Further research is required to evaluate the impact that treatments for depression in people with dementia can have on their carers not only in terms of any impacts on their quality of life, but also the time they spend care-giving. (4) There is a need for research into alternative biological and psychological therapies for depression in dementia. These could include evaluations of new classes of antidepressants (such as venlafaxine) or antidementia medication (e.g. cholinesterase inhibitors). (5) Research is needed to investigate the natural history of depression in dementia in the community when patients are not referred to secondary care services. (6) Further work is needed to investigate the cost modelling results in this rich data set, investigating carer burden and possible moderators to the treatment effects. (7) There is scope for reanalysis of the primary outcome in terms of carer and participant CSDD results. EudraCT Number - 2006-000105-38. This project was funded by the NIHR Health Technology Assessment programme and will be published in full in Health Technology Assessment; Vol. 17, No. 7. See the HTA programme website for further project information.
    02/2013; 17(7):1-166. DOI:10.3310/hta17070
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    ABSTRACT: Dementia is one of the most common and serious disorders in later life and the economic and personal cost of caring for people with dementia is immense. There is a need to be able to evaluate interventions in dementia using cost-effectiveness analyses, but the generic preference-based measures typically used to measure effectiveness do not work well in dementia. Existing dementia-specific measures can effectively measure health-related quality of life but in their current form cannot be used directly to inform cost-effectiveness analysis using quality-adjusted life-years as the measure of effectiveness. The aim was to develop two brief health-state classifications, one from DEMQOL and one from DEMQOL-Proxy, to generate health states amenable to valuation. These classification systems consisted of items taken from DEMQOL and DEMQOL-Proxy so they can be derived from any study that has used these instruments. In the first stage of the study we used a large, clinically representative sample aggregated from two sources: a sample of patients and carers attending a memory service in south London and a sample of patients and carers from other community services in south London. This included 644 people with a diagnosis of mild/moderate dementia and 689 carers of those with mild/moderate dementia. For the valuation study, the general population sample of 600 respondents was drawn to be representative of the UK general population. Households were sampled in urban and rural areas in northern England and balanced to the UK population according to geodemographic profiles. In the patient/carer valuation study we interviewed a sample of 71 people with mild dementia and 71 family carers drawn from a memory service in south London. Finally, the instruments derived were applied to data from the HTA-SADD (Study of Antidepressants for Depression in Dementia) trial. This was a complex multiphase study with four linked phases: phase 1 - derivation of the health-state classification system; phase 2 - general population valuation survey and modelling to produce values for every health state; phase 3 - patient/carer valuation survey; and phase 4 - application of measures to trial data. All four phases were successful and this report details this development process leading to the first condition-specific preference-based measures in dementia, an important new development in this field. The first limitation relates to the lack of an external data set to validate the DEMQOL-U and DEMQOL-Proxy-U classification systems. Throughout the development process we have made decisions about which methodology to use. There are other valid techniques that could be used and it is possible to criticise the choices that we have made. It is also possible that the use of a mild to moderate dementia sample has resulted in classification systems that do not fully reflect the challenges of severe dementia. The results presented are sufficiently encouraging to recommend that the DEMQOL instruments be used alongside a generic measure such as the European Quality of Life-5 Dimensions (EQ-5D) in future studies of interventions in dementia as there was evidence that they can be more sensitive for patients at the milder end of disease and some limited evidence that the person with dementia measure may be able to reflect deterioration. The National Institute for Health Research Health Technology Assessment programme.
    02/2013; 17(5):1-140. DOI:10.3310/hta17050
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    ABSTRACT: The detrimental impact of dementia upon patient health-related quality of life (HRQL) is well established, as is the importance of improving HRQL. However, relatively little is known about the natural history of HRQL in dementia and those factors influencing it. This limited knowledge potentially restricts the evaluation of the efficacy of interventions designed to improve HRQL. One such area concerns the relationship between HRQL and patient insight. It remains unclear what impact, if any, impaired insight has upon a patient's HRQL. The present study aimed to investigate the relationship between insight and HRQL in a sample of patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD) and their carers. 256 patients with AD were recruited as part of AddNeuroMed, a multicentre European AD biomarkers study. Of these, 174 completed a quality-of-life measure in addition to a comprehensive battery of clinical and neuropsychological assessments. Insight was found to be differentially related to patient perceptions of HRQL in mild and moderate dementia. Within moderate dementia, impaired insight was associated with better perceived HRQL. Conversely, cognition, but not insight, was associated with impaired HRQL in mild dementia. Insight was not found to be associated with carer perceptions of patient HRQL. Impairment of insight is associated with better HRQL in moderate dementia. This finding has implications for interventions which focus on increasing patient awareness and orientation, as impairment of insight appears to have a positive impact upon HRQL.
    Journal of neurology, neurosurgery, and psychiatry 10/2009; 81(3):331-6. DOI:10.1136/jnnp.2009.184598 · 4.87 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The EURO-D, a12-item self-report questionnaire for depression, was developed with the aim of facilitating cross-cultural research into late-life depression in Europe. To describe the national variation in depression symptoms and syndrome prevalence across ten European countries. The EURO-D was administered to cross-sectional nationally representative samples of non-institutionalised persons aged > or =50 years (n=22 777). The effects of age, gender, education and cognitive functioning on individual symptoms and EURO-D factor scores were estimated. Country-specific depression prevalence rates and mean factor scores were re-estimated, adjusted for these compositional effects. The prevalence of all symptoms was higher in the Latin ethno-lingual group of countries, especially symptoms related to motivation. Women scored higher on affective suffering; older people and those with impaired verbal fluency scored higher on motivation. The prevalence of individual EURO-D symptoms and of probable depression (cut-off score > or =4) varied consistently between countries. Standardising for effects of age, gender, education and cognitive function suggested that these compositional factors did not account for the observed variation.
    The British Journal of Psychiatry 11/2007; 191:393-401. DOI:10.1192/bjp.bp.107.036772 · 7.34 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We identified the need to develop a scientifically rigorous measure of health-related quality of life (HRQL) in dementia that would be appropriate for use at all stages of dementia severity and would be available in both self- and proxy-report versions. We used standard psychometric methods to eliminate items with poor psychometric properties (item-reduction field test) and to assess the acceptability, reliability and validity of the item-reduced instruments (psychometric evaluation field test). We developed and validated two versions of DEMQOL: a 28-item interviewer-administered questionnaire that is self-reported by the person with dementia (DEMQOL) and a 31-item interviewer-administered questionnaire that is proxy-reported by a caregiver (DEMQOL-Proxy). DEMQOL shows high reliability (internal consistency and test-retest) and moderate validity in people with mild/moderate dementia. DEMQOL-Proxy shows good acceptability and internal consistency and moderate evidence of validity in people with mild/moderate and severe dementia. Test-retest reliability and performance in people with severe dementia need further testing. DEMQOL and DEMQOL-Proxy show psychometric properties that are comparable with the best available dementia-specific measures of HRQL. We recommend that DEMQOL and DEMQOL-Proxy are used together. Reliability and validity need to be confirmed in independent samples and responsiveness needs to be evaluated.
    Psychological Medicine 06/2007; 37(5):737-46. DOI:10.1017/S0033291706009469 · 5.43 Impact Factor
  • 01/2007; King's College London and London School of Economics.
  • Article: Dementia UK
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    ABSTRACT: To explore the extent to which commonly used measures of specific outcomes in dementia are an appropriate proxy for quality of life in dementia. This was a cross sectional study set in communities in London and Nottingham, comprising 101 people with dementia and their 99 main family caregivers. The main outcome measures were health related quality of life in dementia (measured by the DEMQOL-Proxy), cognition (Mini Mental State Examination), functional impairment (Barthel Index), behavioural and psychological symptoms in dementia (Neuropsychiatric Inventory; NPI), and carer mental health (General Health Questionnaire). On univariate analysis, decreased quality of life was statistically significantly correlated with higher levels of behavioural and psychological disturbance (NPI total score and its agitation, depression, anxiety, disinhibition, and irritability subscales); younger age of the person with dementia; and poorer mental health of the carer. Quality of life was not statistically significantly associated with cognition or carer age. In a multivariate model, psychological and behavioural disturbance and patient age remained statistically significantly associated with quality of life. Carer mental health was no longer statistically significantly associated, and cognition and functional limitation remained statistically insignificant. These data suggest that quality of life in dementia is complex, and that simple proxy substitutions of discrete measures such as cognition or function are likely to miss important factors.
    Journal of Neurology Neurosurgery & Psychiatry 03/2006; 77(2):146-8. DOI:10.1136/jnnp.2005.072983 · 5.58 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Statutory and voluntary social services provide care and support for vast numbers of vulnerable older adults, yet little is known about how social care practitioners respond to depression in this high risk population. This study elicited the perceptions and conceptualizations of this condition among social care staff, and views on how the response of social care and other agencies might be improved. Qualitative interviews were conducted with 20 social care practitioners working in generic services for older adults in south London. Depression was perceived to be remarkably common among clients, a phenomenon largely attributed to the adverse circumstances of old age, particularly social isolation. A key message from participants was that social causes indicate a need for social interventions. While primary care was criticised for not taking depression seriously in older people, mental health services were generally praised. Expansion of social, recreational and psychological interventions was advocated.
    Aging and Mental Health 12/2005; 9(6):508-16. DOI:10.1080/13607860500193765 · 1.78 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To develop and validate a psychometrically rigorous measure of health-related quality of life (HRQoL) for people with dementia: DEMQOL. Literature review. Expert opinion. Interviews and questionnaires. Gold standard psychometric techniques were used to develop DEMQOL and DEMQOL-Proxy. A conceptual framework was generated from a review of the literature, qualitative interviews with people with dementia and their carers, expert opinion and team discussion. Items for each component of the conceptual framework were drafted and piloted to produce questionnaires for the person with dementia (DEMQOL) and carer (DEMQOL-Proxy). An extensive two-stage field-testing was then undertaken of both measures in large samples of people with dementia (n = 130) and their carers (n = 126) representing a range of severity and care arrangements. In the first field test, items with poor psychometric performance were eliminated separately for DEMQOL and DEMQOL-Proxy to produce two shorter, more scientifically robust instruments. In the second field test, the item-reduced questionnaires were evaluated along with other validating measures (n = 101 people with dementia, n = 99 carers) to assess acceptability, reliability and validity. Rigorous evaluation in two-stage field testing with 241 people with dementia and 225 carers demonstrated that in psychometric terms: (1) DEMQOL is comparable to the best available dementia-specific HRQoL measures in mild to moderate dementia, but is not appropriate for use in severe dementia [Mini Mental State Examination (MMSE) <10]; and (2) DEMQOL-Proxy is comparable to the best available proxy measure in mild to moderate dementia, and shows promise in severe dementia. In addition, the DEMQOL system has been validated in the UK in a large sample of people with dementia and their carers, and it provides separate measures for self-report and proxy report, which allows outcomes assessment across a wide range of severity in dementia. The 28-item DEMQOL and 31-item DEMQOL-Proxy provide a method for evaluating HRQoL in dementia. The new measures show comparable psychometric properties to the best available dementia-specific measures, provide both self- and proxy-report versions for people with dementia and their carers, are appropriate for use in mild/moderate dementia (MMSE >/= 10) and are suitable for use in the UK. DEMQOL-Proxy also shows promise in severe dementia. As DEMQOL and DEMQOL-Proxy give different but complementary perspectives on quality of life in dementia, the use of both measures together is recommended. In severe dementia, only DEMQOL-Proxy should be used. Further research with DEMQOL is needed to confirm these findings in an independent sample, evaluate responsiveness, investigate the feasibility of use in specific subgroups and in economic evaluation, and develop population norms. Additional research is needed to address the psychometric challenges of self-report in dementia and validating new dementia-specific HRQoL measures.
    Health technology assessment (Winchester, England) 03/2005; 9(10):1-93, iii-iv. DOI:10.3310/hta9100 · 5.12 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To identify what patient and carer characteristics influence transition into residential care for people with dementia. Longitudinal study of a cohort of people with dementia and their carers in contact with old age psychiatric services in south London. 100 people with dementia and their main family carer were recruited. At six month follow up 22 were in residential care, 63 in the community, 8 had died, and for 7 there were missing data. Between six and 12 months, 7 of the 63 in the community went into residential care, 4 died, and 12 were lost to follow up. The most striking finding is the 20-fold protective effect of having a co-resident carer (odds ratio 0.05, 95% confidence intervals 0.01 to 0.42, p=0.006). Higher ratings of behavioural problems in the person with dementia were also statistically significantly associated with transition into residential care as was the psychological domain of quality of life of the carer. These findings powerfully illustrate the pivotal role carried out by carers of people with dementia; interventions directly targeted at helping them to maintain this role would be supported by these data. These data also suggest that strategies directed at improving carer quality of life and at the resolution of behavioural disorder in the person with dementia may also have particular value.
    Journal of Neurology Neurosurgery & Psychiatry 10/2003; 74(9):1315-6. DOI:10.1136/jnnp.74.9.1315 · 5.58 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Details of service receipt by 132 people diagnosed with dementia and their carers were collected in South London (boroughs of Lewisham, Camberwell, Southwark and Croydon), a geographical area served by several health and social care providers. The data collected included the Caregiver Activity Survey, which details the informal care given. This paper reports the formal and informal services received by the people with dementia at entry to the study. The amount of time spent on specific caring tasks by all informal carers of people with dementia averaged seven hours per week, but was significantly higher for co-resident carers, even when controlling for the level of dependency of the person cared-for. The odds ratios of receipt of formal services are given, according to where people were living: in the community or residential care, with co-resident carers or alone.
    Aging and Mental Health 09/2002; 6(3):255-65. DOI:10.1080/13607860220142486 · 1.78 Impact Factor
  • Article: Dementia UK

Publication Stats

460 Citations
37.48 Total Impact Points


  • 2013
    • University of Sussex
      • Brighton and Sussex Medical School
      Brighton, ENG, United Kingdom
    • The University of Sheffield
      • School of Health and Related Research (ScHARR)
      Sheffield, ENG, United Kingdom
  • 2003–2006
    • King's College London
      • Institute of Psychiatry
      Londinium, England, United Kingdom
  • 2002
    • King College
      North Carolina, United States