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Single session educational programme for caregivers of psychogeriatric in-patients–results from a randomised controlled pilot study


Aakhus, Eivind, Engedal, Knut, Aspelund, Tom, Selbaek, Geir


International Journal Of Geriatric Psychiatry, Volume: 24, No.: 3, Pages.: 269-274

Year of Publication



Background: Family caregivers of patients with psychiatric or medical disorders are at risk of developing psychological distress. Studies including family caregivers of patients with dementia have shown that psychoeducative programmes reduce distress and postpone institutionalisation. Little is known about the effect of psychoeducation of relatives of psychogeriatric patients. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of a single-session educational intervention of relatives of psychogeriatric in-patients.; Methods: A randomised controlled intervention study was carried out with 16 relatives in the intervention group and 14 in the control group. The intervention was carried out as a single session programme. Primary outcome measures were psychological well-being and depression as measured by means of General Health Questionnaire (GHQ-30), Impact of Event Scale (IES) and Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS). Outcome measures were performed at baseline, at discharge and at 3-month follow-up.; Results: Psychological distress was high. Daughters were more depressed and distressed than spouses. Patients’ diagnoses did not seem to exert influence on the relatives’ well-being. There was a significant worsening of psychological distress in the intervention group as measured by GHQ-30.; Conclusions: The study is small and results must be interpreted with caution. Distress among relatives was high regardless of patient’s diagnosis. The results of the intervention might lead us to conclude that single-session interventions towards this specific group of relatives do not improve psychological stress and might, in some aspects, even worsen it.;

Bibtex Citation

@article{Aakhus_2009, doi = {10.1002/gps.2102}, url = {}, year = 2009, month = {mar}, publisher = {Wiley-Blackwell}, volume = {24}, number = {3}, pages = {269--274}, author = {Eivind Aakhus and Knut Engedal and Tom Aspelund and Geir Selbaek}, title = {Single session educational programme for caregivers of psychogeriatric in-patients - results from a randomised controlled pilot study}, journal = {Int. J. Geriat. Psychiatry} }


aged, caregivers, consumer health information, depressive disorder, education, epidemiology, female, humans, male, middle aged, pilot projects, prevention & control, psychology, questionnaires, stress, psychological

Countries of Study


Types of Dementia

Dementia (general / unspecified)

Types of Study

Randomised Controlled Trial

Type of Outcomes

Carers’ Mental Health, Carers’ Physical Health


Hospital Inpatient Care

Type of Interventions

Intervention for Carers

Carer Focussed Interventions

Training programmes / workshops including behavioural training