Introduction Dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) is one of the most common degenerative dementias. Despite the fact that most individuals with DLB die from complications of the disease, little is known regarding what factors predict impending end of life or are associated with a quality end of life. Methods and analysis This is a multisite longitudinal cohort study. Participants are being recruited from five academic centres providing subspecialty DLB care and volunteers through the Lewy Body Dementia Association (not receiving specialty care). Dyads must be US residents, include individuals with a clinical diagnosis of DLB and at least moderate-to-severe dementia and include the primary caregiver, who must pass a brief cognitive screen. The first dyad was enrolled 25 February 2021; recruitment is ongoing. Dyads will attend study visits every 6 months through the end of life or 3 years. Study visits will occur in-person or virtually. Measures include demographics, DLB characteristics, caregiver considerations, quality of life and satisfaction with end-of-life experiences. For dyads where the individual with DLB dies, the caregiver will complete a final study visit 3 months after the death to assess grief, recovery and quality of the end-of-life experience. Terminal trend models will be employed to identify significant predictors of approaching end of life (death in the next 6 months). Similar models will assess caregiver factors (eg, grief, satisfaction with end-of-life experience) after the death of the individual with DLB. A qualitative descriptive analysis approach will evaluate interview transcripts regarding end-of-life experiences. Ethics and dissemination This study was approved by the University of Florida institutional review board (IRB202001438) and is listed on clinicaltrials.gov (NCT04829656). Data sharing follows National Institutes of Health policies. Study results will be disseminated via traditional scientific strategies (conferences, publications) and through collaborating with the Lewy Body Dementia Association, National Institute on Aging and other partnerships.
- adult palliative care
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