This site uses cookies to measure how you use the website so it can be updated and improved based on your needs and also uses cookies to help remember the notifications you’ve seen, like this one, so that we don’t show them to you again. If you could also tell us a little bit about yourself, this information will help us understand how we can support you better and make this site even easier for you to use and navigate.

Systematic care for caregivers of people with dementia in the ambulatory mental health service: designing a multicentre, cluster, randomized, controlled trial


Spijker, Anouk, Verhey, Frans, Graff, Maud, Grol, Richard, Adang, Eddy, Wollersheim, Hub, Vernooij-Dassen, Myrra


BMC Geriatrics, Volume: 9, Pages.: 21-21

Year of Publication



Background: Care for people with dementia and their informal caregivers is a challenging aim in healthcare. There is an urgent need for cost-effective support programs that prevent informal caregivers of people with dementia from becoming overburdened, which might result in a delay or decrease of patient institutionalization. For this reason, we have developed the Systematic Care Program for Dementia (SCPD). The SCPD consists of an assessment of caregiver’s sense of competence and suggestions on how to deal with competence deficiencies. The efficiency of the SCPD will be evaluated in our study.; Methods and Design: In our ongoing, cluster, randomized, single-blind, controlled trial, the participants in six mental health services in four regions of the Netherlands have been randomized per service. Professionals of the ambulatory mental health services (psychologists and social psychiatric nurses) have been randomly allocated to either the intervention group or the control group. The study population consists of community-dwelling people with dementia and their informal caregivers (patient-caregiver dyads) coming into the health service. The dyads have been clustered to the professionals. The primary outcome measure is the patient’s admission to a nursing home or home for the elderly at 12 months of follow-up. This measure is the most important variable for estimating cost differences between the intervention group and the control group. The secondary outcome measure is the quality of the patient’s and caregiver’s lives.; Discussion: A novelty in the SCPD is the pro-active and systematic approach. The focus on the caregiver’s sense of competence is relevant to economical healthcare, since this sense of competence is an important determinant of delay of institutionalization of people with dementia. The SCPD might be able to facilitate this with a relatively small cost investment for caregivers’ support, which could result in a major decrease in costs in the management of dementia. Implementation on a national level will be started if the SCPD proves to be efficient.; Trial Registration: NCT00147693.;

Bibtex Citation

@article{Spijker_2009, doi = {10.1186/1471-2318-9-21}, url = {}, year = 2009, month = {jun}, publisher = {Springer Nature}, volume = {9}, number = {1}, author = {Anouk Spijker and Frans Verhey and Maud Graff and Richard Grol and Eddy Adang and Hub Wollersheim and Myrra Vernooij-Dassen}, title = {Systematic care for caregivers of people with dementia in the ambulatory mental health service: designing a multicentre, cluster, randomized, controlled trial}, journal = {{BMC} Geriatr} }


ambulatory care, care, caregivers, classification, cluster analysis, dementia, for, humans, mental health services, methods, professional competence, program, psychology, scpd, standards, therapy

Countries of Study


Types of Dementia

Alzheimer’s Disease

Types of Study

Randomised Controlled Trial

Type of Outcomes

Quality of Life of Carer, Quality of Life of Person With Dementia, Service use or cost reductions (incl. hospital use reduction, care home admission delay)



Type of Interventions

Intervention for Carers

Carer Focussed Interventions

Training programmes / workshops including behavioural training