Training community consultants to help family members improve dementia care: a randomized controlled trial.
ABSTRACT We investigated whether community consultants could be trained to teach family caregivers a systematic behavioral approach for reducing mood and behavior problems in persons with Alzheimer's disease.
This study consisted of a randomized controlled trial; we randomly assigned 95 family caregivers and care recipients with Alzheimer's disease to STAR-caregivers (STAR-C) or control groups. Masked interviewers conducted assessments at baseline, after treatment, and after 6 months. Consultants were master's-level health care professionals who were currently practicing in community settings serving older adults. We assessed the extent to which consultants were able to learn and adhere to the treatment protocol, and the relationship between adherence and measures of caregiver mood, burden, and care recipient mood and behavior.
Community consultants were able to learn and adhere to the behavioral treatment protocol. Caregivers receiving STAR-C training showed significant improvements in depression, burden, and reactivity to behavior problems in the care recipient. There were also significant reductions in the frequency and severity of care recipient behavior problems, and improved quality of life. Results were maintained at 6-month follow-up.
Community-based consultants successfully implemented a behavioral intervention with family caregivers of persons with Alzheimer's disease. Consequently, STAR-C seems to be a practicable and reasonable evidenced-based approach to caregiver training in actual clinical settings.
SourceAvailable from: Katherine Ornstein
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ABSTRACT: Alzheimer's disease (AD) is the most frequent cause of dementia and cholinesterase inhibitors are the available treatment in the mild stage. However cognitive rehabilitation has shown satisfactory results when combined with pharmacological treatment. Behavioral alteration is common in AD patients, which burdens caregivers and raises the risk of institutionalization. Providing caregivers guidance may enable them to assure better quality of life for patient and caregiver and lower institutionalization rates. Objective: To evaluate the effects of a neuropsycholog-ical rehabilitation program (NRP) combined with pharmacological treatment in early stage AD patients. Methods: We studied 12 AD patients (6 women), average age 75.42 (6.22) with 9.58 (5.6) years education in use of stable doses of cholinesterase inhibitors. Cognitive performance was evaluated using Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) and Alzheimer´s Disease Assessment Scale-cognitive (ADAS-Cog). Caregivers responded to Neuropsychi-atric Inventory (NPI) and Functional Activities Questionnaire (FAQ) at initial evaluation (T1), and after 8 months of rehabilitation program (T2). The program comprised two sessions every week and family guidance every fort-night. Results:. Conclusions: These results show the importance of providing guidance and support for caretakers. Study limitations were the small number of patients and absence of a control group with only drug treatment to compare with combined pharmacological and rehabilitation treatments. Programa de reabilitação neuropsicológica e distúrbios de comportamento em pacientes com a Doença de Alzheimer (DA) na fase leve Resumo – A doença de Alzheimer é a demência mais freqüente, o tratamento disponível específico, no estágio leve é com droga anticolinesterásico. Por outro lado a reabilitação cognitiva tem apresentado resultados satis-fatórios quando associado ao tratamento farmacológico. É comum alteração de comportamento em pacientes com DA, o que contribui para uma maior sobrecarga do cuidador aumentando o risco de institucionalização. Cuidadores orientados sobre a doença pode permitir uma melhor qualidade de vida para ambos diminuindo a taxa de institucionalização. Objetivos: Avaliar os efeitos de um programa de reabilitação neuropsicológica (PRN) associado ao tratamento farmacológico de pacientes em fase leve da DA. Métodos: 12 pacientes com DA (6 mu-lheres) com idade média de 75.42 (6.22) e 9.58 (5.6) anos de escolaridade e dose estável de anticolinesterásicos foram avaliados com o Mini-Exame do Estado Mental (MEEM) e Alzheimer´s Disease Assessment Scale-cognitive (ADAS-Cog) e os cuidadores responderam NPI e FAQ na avaliação inicial (T1) e depois de 8 meses do PRN (T2). O PRN foi composto por duas sessões semanais e Orientação Familiar a cada 15 dias. Resultados: MMSE FAQ (T1:10,67 (7.24)/T2: 13,92 (6.92). Conclusões: Estes resultados nos mostram a importância do trabalho desenvolvido com cuidadores, propiciando orientação e suporte. Limitações aos resultados podem estar presentes pelo número reduzido de pacientes, ausência de um grupo controle que permitisse a comparação do tratamento farmacológico isolado com tratamento farmacológico e reabilitação em conjunto. Palavras-chave: demência, cuidadores, distúrbios de comportamento, intervenção não-farmacológica.
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ABSTRACT: Background and purposeDementia is associated with multiple daily life challenges that have a major impact for health outcome, affecting both the patients and their caregivers. In this review, the efficacy of physical, cognitive and psychosocial interventions in the treatment of dementia patients is evaluated, and how caregiver education and support may contribute to patient care is analysed.Results and conclusionsDue to the complex nature of cognitive and psychosocial interventions, their efficacy depends strongly on local settings. Thus, active components of these interventions are not always obvious, even in controlled randomized trials. Successful patient management includes (i) the safekeeping of basic support, (ii) the provision of a stable external milieu that is adjusted to the patients' cognitive resources and (iii) the provision of multimodal therapeutic concepts that are closely adapted to the practical needs of the patients and caregivers.European Journal of Neurology 08/2014; 22(2). DOI:10.1111/ene.12535 · 3.85 Impact Factor