Life Enhancing Activities for Family Caregivers of People With Frontotemporal Dementia

Departments of *Physiological Nursing ‡Osher Center for Integrative Medicine, University of California §Medicine †Memory and Aging Center, San Francisco, CA.
Alzheimer disease and associated disorders (Impact Factor: 2.44). 10/2013; 28(2). DOI: 10.1097/WAD.0b013e3182a6b905
Source: PubMed


Aberrant psychological and behavioral symptoms are common in patients with dementia. These symptoms have negative consequences for family caregivers, causing stress and burden. Frontotemporal dementia (FTD) symptoms cause more pronounced stress and burden on caregivers than those associated with Alzheimer dementia. In this randomized, attention control pilot study, we delivered 5-weekly, one-on-one, positive affect intervention sessions to family caregivers of people with FTD. The program, Life Enhancing Activities for Family Caregivers: LEAF was conducted in-person or by videoconference with caregivers across the United States. Measures of affect, caregiver mood, stress, distress, and caregiver burden were assessed at baseline, end of sessions, and 1 month after completion. Twenty-four caregivers (12 intervention and 12 attention control) participated. At the end of the intervention, scores on positive affect, negative affect, burden, and stress all improved in the intervention compared with the control group. These scores continued to show improvement at the assessment done 1 month after intervention. Subjects were receptive to the skills and the delivery methods. The positive emotion skill-building intervention proved feasible especially in the internet videoconference delivery format. The intervention promoted positive affect and improved psychological outcomes for family caregivers of people with FTD.

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Available from: Glenna Dowling, Oct 23, 2014
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    ABSTRACT: Positive affect predicts improved glycemic control and longevity in adults with type 2 diabetes. We tested DAHLIA, a self-paced online intervention for type 2 diabetes that teaches positive affect skills such as savoring, gratitude, and acts of kindness. Participants (n=49) were randomized to the 5-week DAHLIA course or an emotion-reporting waitlist control. DAHLIA was understood and accepted by participants and showed good retention (78%). At post-intervention, DAHLIA participants showed a significantly greater decrease in depression than controls (-4.3 vs. +0.6 points on the CES-D, p =.05). Secondary analyses found that this effect was considerably stronger in intervention recipients recruited online than those recruited in person. Intervention recipients recruited online also showed significantly increased positive affect, reduced negative affect, and reduced perceived stress. There were no effects on measures of diabetes-specific efficacy or sense of burden, or preliminary measures of health behaviors. This successful feasibility and efficacy trial provides support for a larger trial focusing more specifically on health behavior.
    Full-text · Article · Jun 2014 · The Journal of Positive Psychology

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