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Early-Stage Partners in Care for Memory Loss and Dementia (EPIC)


This study will test an education and skills-based training program for people with early-stage memory loss or dementia and their care partners. The training is designed to reduce stress and distress, and increase well-being and quality of life.

Minimum Age Maximum Age Gender Healthy Volunteers
18 Years N/A All Yes
October 9, 2017
May 2022

All Participants:

  • Speak, read, and write English or Spanish
  • Reside in a community setting (rather than long-term care facility, for example)


  • Spouse, adult-child, and other close friend or family member
  • Self-identify as the person who currently has or who expects to have the most hands-on responsibility and ongoing involvement with the person with early-stage memory loss or dementia
  • Live with or have regular contact with the person with early-stage memory loss or dementia

Participants with Memory Loss or Dementia:

  • Confirmed diagnosis or symptoms of early-stage dementia
  • Changes in memory as measured by the AD8 dementia screening tool
  • Mini-Mental State Examination score within a certain range
  • Have an unpaid caregiver who has or will have primary responsibility for providing assistance

Participants with Memory Loss or Dementia:

  • Denying or not reporting any trouble with memory, based on self-report
  • Severe mental illness or developmental disability before the age of 45
  • Memory problems due to past head injury

Pairs of care partners and individuals with early-stage memory loss or dementia will attend 6 group sessions, 2.5 hours each, to learn strategies to help handle new situations, reduce stress, improve mood, communicate better with each other, and plan for the future. Pairs will also participate in one 90-minute individualized session to address issues that may be unique to their situation, as well as 4 booster sessions to reinforce the skills and lessons. Additionally, researchers will interview participants in 5, 2-hour confidential sessions over a 1-year period to gather information about background, mood, and quality of life. A comparative group will initially participate in a 75-minute educational session on memory loss and dementia and related community services, as well as a check-in call in about 3 months. After completing an assessment, this group will also go through the full EPIC program. 

Name City State Zip Status Primary Contact
Arizona & Nevada Program Locations (Based at ASU Edson College of Nursing and Health Innovation)
Phoenix Arizona 85004 Recruiting Marielysse Cortes, MSW

Arizona State University

Name Role Affiliation
David W. Coon, PhD Principal Investigator Arizona State University

Name Phone Email
Marielysse Cortes 602-496-1281


EPIC: A Group-based Intervention for Early-stage AD Dyads in Diverse Communities