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Dementia (London). 2008;7(4):503-520.

Telephone-Delivered Psychosocial Intervention Reduces Burden in Dementia Caregivers.

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1
Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

To examine the preliminary efficacy of Family Intervention: Telephone Tracking-Dementia (FITT-D), a multi-component intervention that is delivered in 23 telephone contacts over 12 months.

METHOD:

Thirty-three dementia caregivers were randomly assigned to receive either FITT-D (n =16) or standard care (n =17) using urn randomization to balance the groups on dementia severity, caregiver gender, and relationship type (spouse versus other). Inclusion criteria included formal dementia diagnosis, caregiving for at least 6 months, residing with the care recipient, and providing at least 4 hours of direct supervision per day. Master's-level therapists contacted caregivers by telephone over 12 months. Each contact followed a standardized treatment manual, involving assessment and individualized application of interventions to address mood, family functioning, social support, and health. Outcomes included Zarit Burden Interview, Revised Memory and Behavior Problem Checklist, and the Geriatric Depression Scale at baseline and 12 months (end of treatment).

RESULTS:

Caregivers receiving FITT-D exhibited significantly lower burden scores and less severe reactions to memory and behavior problems than caregivers in the standard care condition.

CONCLUSION:

Findings provide preliminary evidence for the efficacy of FITT-D, a potentially highly accessible, low-cost intervention for dementia caregivers.

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