Publication Date



JMIR Research Protocols



Research and policy demonstrate the value of and need for systematically identifying and preparing care partners for their caregiving responsibilities while their family member or friend living with dementia is hospitalized. The Care Partner Hospital Assessment Tool (CHAT) has undergone content and face validation and has been endorsed as appropriate by clinicians to facilitate the timely identification and preparation of care partners of older adult patients during their hospitalization. However, the CHAT has not yet been adapted or prospectively evaluated for use with care partners of hospitalized people living with dementia. Adapting and testing the CHAT via a pilot study will provide the necessary evidence to optimize feasibility and enable future efficacy trials.


The purpose of this paper is to describe the study protocol for the adaptation and testing of the CHAT for use among care partners of hospitalized people living with dementia to better prepare them for their caregiving responsibilities after hospital discharge.


Our protocol is based on the National Institutes of Health Stage Model and consists of 2 sequential phases, including formative research and the main trial. In phase 1, we will use a participatory human-centered design process that incorporates people living with dementia and their care partners, health care administrators, and clinicians to adapt the CHAT for dementia care (ie, the Dementia CHAT [D-CHAT]; stage IA). In phase 2, we will partner with a large academic medical system to complete a pilot randomized controlled trial to examine the feasibility and estimate the size of the effect of the D-CHAT on care partners’ preparedness for caregiving (stage IB). We anticipate this study to take approximately 60 months to complete, from study start-up procedures to dissemination. The 2 phases will take place between December 1, 2022, and November 30, 2027.


The study protocol will yield (1) a converged-upon, ready-for-feasibility testing D-CHAT; (2) descriptive and feasibility characteristics of delivering the D-CHAT; and (3) effect size estimates of the D-CHAT on care partner preparedness. We anticipate that the resultant D-CHAT will provide clinicians with guidance on how to identify and better prepare care partners for hospitalized people living with dementia. In turn, care partners will feel equipped to fulfill caregiving roles for their family members or friends living with dementia.


The expected results of this study are to favorably impact hospital-based care processes and outcomes for people living with dementia and their care partners and to elucidate the essential caregiving role that so many care partners of people living with dementia assume.

Trial Registration NCT05592366;

International Registered Report Identifier (IRRID)



dementia, caregiving, health care, systems, co-design, randomized control trial


PMID: 37347517

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Neurosurgery Commons



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