Findings of Sequential Pilot Trials of Aliviado Dementia Care to Inform an Embedded Pragmatic Clinical Trial

Shih Yin Lin, Catherine E. Schneider, Alycia A. Bristol, Maureen Clancy, Sara A. Sprague, Melissa Aldridge, Tara Cortes, Keith S. Goldfeld, Jean S. Kutner, Susan L. Mitchell, Joseph W. Shega, Bei Wu, Carolyn W. Zhu, Abraham A. Brody

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background and Objectives: Many investigators of Alzheimer's disease and related dementias (AD/ADRD) are unfamiliar with the embedded pragmatic clinical trials (ePCTs) and the indispensable pilot phase preceding ePCTs. This paper provides a much-needed example for such a pilot phase and discusses implementation barriers and additional infrastructure and implementation strategies developed in preparation for a nationwide AD/ADRD ePCT. Research Design and Methods: Two pilot trials were conducted in 2 hospices sequentially to refine and test Aliviado Dementia Care - Hospice Edition, a complex quality improvement intervention for advanced dementia symptom management. Readiness for the subsequent full-scale ePCT was assessed by three milestones: ≥80% training completion rate ("feasibility"), ≥80% posttraining survey respondents indicating intention for practice changes ("applicability"), and at least 1 Aliviado care plan/assessment instrument administered in ≥75% of dementia patients admitted to home hospice within 1-month posttraining ("fidelity"). Results: Participants included 72 interdisciplinary team members and 11 patients with AD/ADRD across the pilots. Feasibility, applicability, and fidelity outcomes (92%, 93%, and 100%, respectively) all surpassed the preestablished milestones (80%, 80%, and 75%). Main implementation challenges were related to hospice staff turnover, integration of the Aliviado toolbox materials within the electronic health records, and hospices' limited research experience and infrastructure. Discussion and Implications: This pilot phase demonstrated feasibility, applicability, and fidelity required to proceed to the full-scale ePCT. Our study findings and discussions of additional infrastructure and implementation strategies developed following the pilot phase can inform researchers and clinicians interested in conducting AD/ADRD-related pilot studies for ePTCs or quality improvement initiatives. Clinical Trials Registration Number: NCT03681119.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Number of pages11
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1 2022


  • ADRD
  • Hospice
  • Implementation science
  • Interdisciplinary workforce training
  • Quality assurance and performance improvement
  • Pilot Projects
  • Hospice Care
  • Humans
  • Dementia/therapy
  • Alzheimer Disease
  • Hospices

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Gerontology


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