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Randomized controlled trial of a dementia care programme for families of home resided older people with dementia


Chien, Wai-Tong, Lee, Isabella Y. M.


Journal of Advanced Nursing, Volume: 67, No.: 4, Pages.: 774-787

Year of Publication



Aim: This paper reports a study to examine the effectiveness of a 6-month dementia care programme for Chinese families living with and caring for a relative with dementia, compared with routine family support services in Hong Kong. Background: Recognizing the adverse psychosocial health effects inherent in dementia care, different psychosocial interventions provided preliminary evidence of their effectiveness in improving family members’ knowledge and skills in caregiving and delaying dementia sufferers’ illness deterioration and institutionalization. Little is known about the effects of such interventions for family caregivers’ psychosocial health conditions, particularly in non-Western populations. Methods: A randomized controlled trial was conducted with 92 Chinese families of a relative with dementia in two dementia care centres in Hong Kong. They were randomly selected from a dementia client list and then randomly assigned to receive either the dementia family care programme (n = 46), or routine care only (n = 46). Clients’ symptoms and institutionalization, and caregivers’ quality of life, burden and social support at recruitment, 1 week, and 12 and 18 months following intervention were measured and compared between the study groups using repeated measures MANOVAs followed by Helmert’s contrast tests. Data was collected over a period of 24 months, between September 2007 and August 2009. Results: Results of the MANOVAs and contrast tests indicated that at 18-month follow-up, participants in the family programme reported significantly greater improvements in clients’ symptoms and institutionalization rates, and caregivers’ quality of life and burden, when compared with their counterparts in the routine care group. Conclusion: These findings provide evidence that the dementia care family programme can improve the psychosocial functioning of both clients with dementia and their family caregivers in a Chinese population. Further research is recommended to investigate whether this intervention can also apply to families with different socioeconomic backgrounds and across cultures. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved). (journal abstract)

Bibtex Citation

@article{Chien_2010, doi = {10.1111/j.1365-2648.2010.05537.x}, url = {}, year = 2010, month = {dec}, publisher = {Wiley-Blackwell}, volume = {67}, number = {4}, pages = {774--787}, author = {Wai Tong Chien and Isabella Y.M. Lee}, title = {Randomized controlled trial of a dementia care programme for families of home-resided older people with dementia}, journal = {Journal of Advanced Nursing} }


caregivers, clinical trials, dementia, dementia care programs, families, family, health care services, home care, homeresiding older patients

Countries of Study

Hong Kong

Types of Dementia

Dementia (general / unspecified)

Types of Study

Cost and service use study, Randomised Controlled Trial

Type of Outcomes

ADLs/IADLs, Carer Burden (instruments measuring burden), Quality of Life of Carer, Service use or cost reductions (incl. hospital use reduction, care home admission delay)


Extra Care Housing

Type of Interventions

Intervention for Carers

Carer Focussed Interventions

Information and Advice, Training programmes / workshops including behavioural training