Effectiveness of a psychoeducational intervention program in the reduction of caregiver burden in Alzheimer’s disease patients’ caregivers
Year of Publication 2009
Objectives: Caregivers of patients with Alzheimer’s disease (AD) experience physical and psychological stress due to the caring experience. This study evaluated the benefits of a Psychoeducational Intervention Program (PIP) on caregiver burden in southern Europe.; Methods: A multicentre, prospective, randomised study was conducted. One hundred and fifteen caregivers of patients with clinical diagnosis of AD (DSM-IV-TR criteria, mini-mental score = 10-26) and functional impairment (Lawton and Brody Scale and Katz Index) were recruited. Caregivers were randomised to receive either PIP (IG: intervention group, n = 60) or standard care (CG: control group, n = 55). PIP consisted of eight individual sessions over 4 months for teaching strategies for confronting problems of AD patient care. Caregivers’ stress, quality of life and perceived health were measured using validated scales (Zarit, SF-36, GHQ-28, respectively) at baseline and after 4 and 10-months follow-up.; Results: Mean change in caregiver burden (Zarit baseline-Zarit final scores) was statistically significant (p = 0.0083) showing an improvement in the IG (-8.09 points) and a worsening in the CG (2.08 points). The IG showed significant improvements in all the well-being perception areas measured by the SF-36 and a significantly lower score in the GHQ-28 (p = 0.0004). 97.7% of caregivers and 88.6% of therapists considered PIP ‘useful/very useful’ at 4 months (the end of PIP) whereas at 10 months the estimates were 93.2% and 86.3%, respectively.; Conclusions: Psychosocial training of caregivers can minimise caregiver distress and help them to develop problem-solving strategies. A PIP improves quality of life and the perceived health of caregivers of patients with AD.; (c) 2008 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.