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Memory and communication support strategies in dementia: effect of a training program for informal caregivers


Liddle, Jacki, Smith-Conway, Erin R., Baker, Rosemary, Angwin, Anthony J., Gallois, Cindy, Copland, David A., Pachana, Nancy A., Humphreys, Michael S., Byrne, Gerard J., Chenery, Helen J.


International Psychogeriatrics / IPA, Volume: 24, No.: 12, Pages.: 1927-1942

Year of Publication



Background: People with dementia have a range of needs that are met by informal caregivers. A DVD-based training program was developed using research-based strategies for memory and communication in dementia. The effectiveness of the training on the caregiver experience and the well-being of the person with dementia was evaluated.; Methods: A pre-test/post-test controlled trial was undertaken with caregiver-care-recipient dyads living in the community. Measures of the carers’ knowledge of memory and communication strategies, burden, positive perceptions of caregiving, and perceptions of problem behaviors were taken pre- and three months post-intervention. The depression and well-being of the person with dementia were also evaluated. Satisfaction with the training and feedback were measured.; Results: Twenty-nine dyads (13 training group, 16 control group) participated. Bonferroni’s correction was made to adjust for multiple comparisons, setting α at 0.00385. A significant improvement was found in caregivers’ knowledge for the training group compared to the control group (p = 0.0011). The training group caregivers reported a reduction in the frequency of care recipient disruptive behaviors (p = 0.028) and increased perceptions of positive aspects of caregiving (p = 0.039), both at a level approaching significance. The training group care recipients had increased frequency of verbally communicated depressive behaviors at a level approaching significance (p = 0.0126). The frequency of observed depressive behaviors was not significantly different between groups.; Conclusions: This approach to training for caregivers of people with dementia appears promising for its impact on knowledge and the caregiving experience. Further research could monitor the impact of the training on broader measures of depression and well-being, with a larger sample.;

Bibtex Citation

@article{Liddle_2012, doi = {10.1017/s1041610212001366}, url = {}, year = 2012, month = {aug}, publisher = {Cambridge University Press ({CUP})}, volume = {24}, number = {12}, pages = {1927--1942}, author = {Jacki Liddle and Erin R. Smith-Conway and Rosemary Baker and Anthony J. Angwin and Cindy Gallois and David A. Copland and Nancy A. Pachana and Michael S. Humphreys and Gerard J. Byrne and Helen J. Chenery}, title = {Memory and communication support strategies in dementia: Effect of a training program for informal caregivers}, journal = {Int. Psychogeriatr.} }


aged, behavioral symptoms, caregivers, communication, consumer satisfaction, cost of illness, dementia, diagnosis, education, educational measurement, female, humans, interpersonal relations, male, memory, methods, middle aged, organization administration, program evaluation, psychology, quality of life, social support, therapy

Countries of Study


Types of Dementia

Dementia (general / unspecified)

Types of Study

Non randomised controlled trial

Type of Outcomes

Carer Burden (instruments measuring burden), Depression and Anxiety, Quality of Life of Person With Dementia, Satisfaction with care/services



Type of Interventions

Intervention for Carers

Carer Focussed Interventions

Training programmes / workshops including behavioural training