This article presents the results of a randomized trial to test a psychoeducation intervention's ability to relieve or forestall dementia caregiver distress over a one-year period. We also introduce a global measure of caregiver distress developed during the trial. Based in a stress mediation framework, the intervention aimed to increase caregiver knowledge and skills and develop a more clinical perspective on caregiving through a six-week (2-hour per week) program. A total of 215 dyads (caregivers and care receivers) were randomized into two experimental groups and a wait-list control group. Results confirm the assertion that strengthening caregivers' ability to better understand and undertake their caregiving role staves off increasing distress (p = .035) and improves caregiving attitude (p = .016) at 6 months. However, at one-year, between-group effects deteriorated on key measures, pointing out an inherent weakness of offering a stand-alone program. The Distress measure demonstrated stability at six months (coefficient = .75) and twelve months (coefficient = .72).
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This project was supported by a grant from the National Institute for Nursing Research, NR 04517.
- Caregiver distress
- Family caregiver