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Am J Geriatr Psychiatry. 2008 Nov;16(11):893-904. doi: 10.1097/JGP.0b013e3181898095.

A three-country randomized controlled trial of a psychosocial intervention for caregivers combined with pharmacological treatment for patients with Alzheimer disease: effects on caregiver depression.

Author information

1
Department of Psychiatry, New York University School of Medicine, New York, NY 10016, USA. mary.mittelman@nyumc.org

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To evaluate the effectiveness of a combination of cholinesterase inhibitor therapy for patients with Alzheimer disease (AD) and psychosocial intervention, for their spouse caregivers compared with drug treatment alone in three countries simultaneously.

DESIGN:

Randomized controlled trial. Structured questionnaires were administered at baseline and at regular follow-up intervals for 24 months by independent raters blind to group assignment.

SETTING:

Outpatient research clinics in New York City, U.S., Manchester, U.K. and Sydney, Australia.

PARTICIPANTS:

Volunteer sample of 158 spouse caregivers of community dwelling patients with AD.

INTERVENTIONS:

Five sessions of individual and family counseling within 3 months of enrollment and continuous availability of ad hoc telephone counseling were provided for half the caregivers. Donepezil was prescribed for all patients.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE:

Depressive symptoms of spouse caregivers measured at intake and follow-up assessments for 24 months using Beck Depression Inventory (revised).

RESULTS:

Depression scores of caregivers who received counseling decreased over time, whereas the depression scores for caregivers who did not receive counseling increased. The benefit of the psychosocial intervention was significant after controlling for site, gender and country was not accounted for by antidepressant use and increased over 2 years even though the individual and family counseling sessions occurred in the first 3 months.

CONCLUSION:

Effective counseling and support interventions can reduce symptoms of depression in caregivers when patients are taking donepezil. Harmonized multinational psychosocial interventions are feasible. Combined drug and supportive care approaches to the management of people with AD should be a priority.

PMID:
18978250
PMCID:
PMC2753499
DOI:
10.1097/JGP.0b013e3181898095
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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