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Rev Lat Am Enfermagem. 2013 Jan-Feb;21 Spec No:267-75.

Effectiveness of educational programs on reducing the burden of caregivers of elderly individuals with dementia: a systematic review.

[Article in English, Portuguese]

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Escola Paulista de Enfermagem, Universidade Federal de São Paulo, Brazil.



This study's objective was to analyze the effectiveness of educational and support programs for caregivers on reducing their burden.


The method used was a systematic review. The following were searched; MEDLINE, LILACS, Embase, Cochrane, Web of Science, SciELO and CINAHL.


Seven randomized clinical studies were included. These studies compared an educational program with standard care delivery, assessing the burden of caregivers through the Zarit Burden Interview. After the analysis of sensitivity, four studies were grouped in the meta-analysis showing a statistically significant reduction in caregiver burden among the participants of educational and support programs.


The evidence obtained in this study suggests that educational and support programs have a positive impact on the reduction of caregiver burden when compared to standard care. Therefore, the inclusion of these programs in institutions providing care to the elderly is effective and should be encouraged. These programs should also share non-pharmacological management strategies for the behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia.

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