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Randomised controlled trial of a family‐led mutual support programme for people with dementia


Wang, Li-Qun, Chien, Wai-Tong


Journal of Clinical Nursing, Volume: 20, No.: 15-16, Pages.: 2362-2366

Year of Publication



This controlled trial was to investigate the effectiveness of a family-led mutual support group program for Chinese people with dementia on caregivers’ quality of life, burden and social support and clients’ mental state and institutionalization. The participants in this study were family members caring for a relative with dementia at home and they were recruited from one of the four largest dementia care centers in Hong Kong, which consisted of approximately 500 clients primarily diagnosed with dementia. Eighty of 400 pairs of eligible patients and their primary family caregivers were selected randomly from the client list of the center, using the computer-generated random numbers. They were then randomly assigned into either the Family Mutual Support Program in Dementia Care (FMSP-DC) or routine care group (control), each consisting of 40 family dyads. All participants in both the FMSP-DC and control group received the routine family services provided by the dementia care center. There were no differences between the study groups with respect to their socio-demographic characteristics, types and dosage of medication, or mean scores of the baseline measures, using Student’s or Chi-square test. The results indicated that there were statistically significant differences between the two groups in the family caregivers’ burden and quality of life and clients’ symptoms severity and frequency and duration of institutionalization at the post-test. Post hoc comparisons indicated that in the dementia care program, the caregivers’ burden and quality of life and length of institutionalization at the post-test showed significantly greater improvements, compared with routine care only. The findings also suggest that providing a culturally sensitive and peer-led mutual support group intervention for these families in this trial can improve caregivers’ psychosocial health condition and can reduce clients’ rates of institutionalization. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2014 APA, all rights reserved)

Bibtex Citation

@article{Wang_2011, doi = {10.1111/j.1365-2702.2011.03746.x}, url = {}, year = 2011, month = {jul}, publisher = {Wiley-Blackwell}, volume = {20}, number = {15-16}, pages = {2362--2366}, author = {Li-Qun Wang and Wai-Tong Chien}, title = {Randomised controlled trial of a family-led mutual support programme for people with dementia}, journal = {Journal of Clinical Nursing} }


caregivers, clinical trials, dementia, family, family led mutual support programs, mental health, mental state, mutual, people, programme, quality of life, social support, support, support groups

Countries of Study

Hong Kong

Types of Dementia

Dementia (general / unspecified)

Types of Study

Randomised Controlled Trial

Type of Outcomes

Carer Burden (instruments measuring burden), Quality of Life of Carer

Type of Interventions

Intervention for Carers

Carer Focussed Interventions

Peer Support