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Aust Occup Ther J. 2018 Jun;65(3):208-224. doi: 10.1111/1440-1630.12464. Epub 2018 Mar 12.

Effectiveness of interventions for co-residing family caregivers of people with dementia: Systematic review and meta-analysis.

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School of Science and Health, Western Sydney University, Sydney, NSW, Australia.
School of Allied Health Sciences, Griffith University, Gold Coast, QLD, Australia.
Mindlink Research Centre, Hong Kong.
Sau Po Center on Ageing, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong.
Division of Geriatric Medicine, Department of Medicine, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong.
Alzheimer's Disease Research Network, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong.



Occupational therapists and health practitioners commonly provide interventions to family caregivers of people with dementia with the aim of relieving burden, depression, and disruptions in health and social support. To date, the effects of multicomponent interventions specifically targeting these four important outcomes has not been established. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of multicomponent interventions on four outcomes for co-residing family caregivers of people with dementia.


A comprehensive database search of the literature was performed using CINAHL, MEDLINE, PubMed, PsycINFO, OTseeker, EMBASE and the Cochrane library. Randomised control trials (RCTs) that included multicomponent interventions for co-residing family caregivers addressing burden, depression, health and social support were selected. Relevant articles were critically reviewed and study results were synthesised. Meta-analysis was conducted separately.


Twenty-two of 358 retrieved studies were selected, with 15 studies being included in the meta-analyses. The multicomponent interventions identified were comprised of a range of different individual strategies. Significant effective results were found for all four specified outcomes.


Many types of multicomponent interventions appear beneficial on all of the four specified outcomes. The literature presents a trend that multicomponent interventions consisting of a combination of counselling, support groups, education, stress and mood management or telephone support are important strategies within an effective multicomponent intervention.


dependency burden; emotional depression; family caregivers; health status; social support


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