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Effects of a psychological intervention in a primary health care center for caregivers of dependent relatives: a randomized trial


Rodriguez-Sanchez, E., Patino-Alonso, M. C., Mora-Simon, S., Gomez-Marcos, M. A., Perez-Penaranda, A., Losada-Baltar, A., Garcia-Ortiz, L.


The Gerontologist, Volume: 53, No.: 3, Pages.: 397-406

Year of Publication



Purpose: To assess, in the context of Primary Health Care (PHC), the effect of a psychological intervention in mental health among caregivers (CGs) of dependent relatives.; Design and Methods: Randomized multicenter, controlled clinical trial. The 125 CGs included in the trial were receiving health care in PHC.; Inclusion Criteria: Identifying oneself as principal CG of a dependent relative with dementia or any other disability, and having performed this task for at least 6 months. CGs were randomized to an intervention group (cognitive-behavioral treatment for managing dysfunctional thoughts about caregiving and training in self-help techniques) or to a control group (care as usual). CG mental health (General Health Questionnaire [GHQ-12]), dysfunctional thoughts about caregiving, quality of life, and burden were measured.; Results: The intervention group showed improvement in mental health: A mean reduction in GHQ-12 score of -3.33 points was recorded in the intervention group vs. the control group (95% CI: -5.95 to -0.70; p = .01; Cohen d = 0.55). Improvement was also recorded in dysfunctional thoughts about caregiving: (-5.84; 95% CI: -10.60 to -1.09; p = .01; Cohen d = 0.62). Among the CGs that completed the initial and final assessments, a mean of 4.77 (SD 2.68) attended a maximum of 8 sessions. Men attended more often (5.00 sessions with SD 2.68) than women (4.70 sessions with SD 2.45; p < .001).; Implications: Psychological group intervention in the context of PHC, aimed at the CGs of dependent persons with dementia and other disabilities, has improved mental health condition in CGs.;

Bibtex Citation

@article{Rodriguez_Sanchez_2012, doi = {10.1093/geront/gns086}, url = {}, year = 2012, month = {aug}, publisher = {Oxford University Press ({OUP})}, volume = {53}, number = {3}, pages = {397--406}, author = {E. Rodriguez-Sanchez and M. C. Patino-Alonso and S. Mora-Simon and M. A. Gomez-Marcos and A. Perez-Penaranda and A. Losada-Baltar and L. Garcia-Ortiz}, title = {Effects of a Psychological Intervention in a Primary Health Care Center for Caregivers of Dependent Relatives: A Randomized Trial}, journal = {The Gerontologist} }


adult, aged, attitude, caregivers, cognitive therapy, dementia, depression, etiology, female, humans, intervention studies, male, mental health, methods, middle aged, primary health care, psychology, questionnaires, socioeconomic factors, stress, psychological, therapy, thinking, treatment outcome

Countries of Study


Types of Dementia

Dementia (general / unspecified)

Types of Study

Randomised Controlled Trial

Type of Outcomes

Carer Burden (instruments measuring burden), Carers’ Mental Health, Quality of Life of Carer


Primary Care

Type of Interventions

Intervention for Carers

Carer Focussed Interventions

Training programmes / workshops including behavioural training