A videophone psychosocial intervention for dementia caregivers
Year of Publication 2013
Background/objectives: Available services and intervention programs for dementia caregivers are often underutilized because of issues such as cost, logistics, lack of knowledge about available services, or insufficient support from others. Information technologies offer the potential of removing these barriers and facilitating the ability of caregivers to access needed support. This project evaluated the feasibility and efficacy of technology-based psychosocial intervention among minority family caregivers of dementia patients.; Design: A feasibility and efficacy trial.; Setting: Participants’ homes in the Greater Miami Community.; Participants: One hundred ten (56 Hispanic American and 54 African American) caregivers of patients with dementia.; Intervention: A technology-based multi-component psychosocial intervention was delivered in-home and via videophone technology over 5 months. The intervention was modeled after the REACH II intervention and targeted known areas of caregiver risk.; Measurement: Standardized measures of depression, caregiver burden, social support, and the caregivers’ perception of the caregiver’s experience were administered at baseline and 5 months post-randomization.; Results: Overall, caregivers who received the intervention reported a decrease in burden, an increase in perceived social support and positive perceptions of the caregiving experience. No effect was observed for depression. Most participants indicated that the intervention improved their caregiving skills and found the technology to be easy to use.; Conclusions: A technology-based format was feasible for delivering a multi-component intervention to minority family dementia caregivers. The intervention improved caregiver outcomes for both Hispanic and African American caregivers. The results suggest that technology may help eliminate disparities in access to caregiver intervention programs.; Copyright © 2013 American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.