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Int J Geriatr Psychiatry. 2001 Aug;16(8):816-21.

Training in communication skills for informal carers of people suffering from dementia: a cluster randomized clinical trial comparing a therapist led workshop and a booklet.

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Department of Psychology and Health Research and Development Support Unit, Wright Building, University of Hertfordshire, Hatfield, Herts, AL10 9AB, UK.


The objective of the study was to evaluate whether a short training workshop in communication techniques is more effective than an information booklet for improving communication skills in informal carers of people suffering from dementia. 30 informal carers were allocated to the workshop sessions and 15 to the booklet. Outcome measures included awareness of communication strategies; perceived frequency of communication breakdown at home, and the associated level of distress; general stress; and consumer satisfaction. At six week follow-up, the workshop group demonstrated a significantly greater awareness of communication strategies than the booklet-only group. Both groups reported some reduction in the frequency of communication problems at home, and a reduction in the associated level of distress. The frequency of other problem behaviours remained stable. Satisfaction with the workshop indicated that training was helpful but depended on the stage of illness of the partner.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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