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Am J Alzheimers Dis Other Demen. 2006 Dec-2007 Jan;21(6):391-7.

Evaluation of a telephone-based support group intervention for female caregivers of community-dwelling individuals with dementia.

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  • 1Center for Applied Research in Aging and Health, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19107, USA.


Family caregivers, the "second victims" or hidden patients in dementia care, are at risk for social isolation, stress, depression, and mortality. Telephone-based support (telesupport groups) represents a practical, low-burden, low-cost source of emotional support. The present study evaluated the feasibility and effectiveness of professionally led telephone-based support groups for female family caregivers of community-dwelling dementia patients. Recruited through various community sources, 103 female caregivers were randomized to the telesupport group treatment or a control condition. Effects on caregiver burden, depression, and personal gains were evaluated at 6 months, the main end point. Older care-givers (> or =65) in telesupport reported lower depression than control group caregivers did.

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