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Int J Geriatr Psychiatry. 2018 Feb;33(2):e343-e349. doi: 10.1002/gps.4816. Epub 2017 Nov 3.

Preliminary study of a communication intervention for family caregivers and spouses with dementia.

Author information

1
College of Nursing, Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton, FL, USA.
2
School of Education, Health, and Social Studies, Dalarna University, Sweden.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

This study was to designed to examine the feasibility and preliminary outcomes of CARE: Caring About Relationships and Emotions, a 10-week, home-based, intervention to support married couples affected by dementia.

METHODS:

Fifteen older couples participated in a single group repeated measures feasibility study. Weekly, video-recorded conversations over 10 weeks were used to rate communication using the Verbal/Nonverbal Interaction Scale for caregivers and care receivers.

RESULTS:

Accounting for mental status of care recipients, the ratio of social to unsocial communication showed a significant improvement across sessions-an average of 4.46 points per session [β = 4.46, t(10) = 1.96, p = .039]. Spouse caregiver (CG) communication showed a significant decrease in the number of disabling communications with approximately .65 decreased comments per session [β = 0.654, t(11) = -2.61, p = .024].

CONCLUSIONS:

At home dyadic, relationship-focused psychoeducational intervention to improve communication in spouses affected by dementia has the potential to improve communication outcomes. Creative ways of working with couples are needed to help them sustain their relationships and maintain their health.

KEYWORDS:

Alzheimer's disease; communication; dementia; family caregivers; spouse

PMID:
29105129
DOI:
10.1002/gps.4816

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