Effects of a community intervention program for dementia on mental health: the importance of secondary caregivers in promoting positive aspects and reducing strain
The study presents a community intervention program targeted at caregivers of individuals with dementia, and assesses its main outcomes in terms of caregiver strain, positive aspects of care, and physical and mental health. A total of 187 caregivers completed a 10-week psychoeducational program and were assessed at baseline, post intervention and at 6-month follow-up. The evaluation of the program was performed using multivariable linear mixed effect models. Results showed an improvement in mental health, an increasing of satisfaction with care, and a lessening of caregiving strain. Nevertheless, such effects were distinctively associated with important objective circumstances of care, namely the existence of a secondary caregiver, the number of hours of care, the dependency level of the care-recipient, and the age of the caregiver. To foster wellbeing of the caregivers, intervention should particularly focus on the share of caregiving with others, and on uncovering positive aspects of care.
KeywordsCaregiving Dementia Psychoeducational intervention Burden Positive aspects of care
The “Caring for the Caregiving” project was promoted by the Centre for Social Services for Elderly and Children in Sanguêdo (CASTIIS) and supported by a research funding from the Portuguese High Commissioner of Health (ACS), by the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation (FCG) and by the City Council of Santa Maria da Feira. Authors would like to thank all professionals from the EDV region involved in the implementation of the program, and to Soraia Teles and Daniela Brandão for their contributions in writing this document. A special thanks also to Madalena Malta (CASTIIS).
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that there are no known conflicts of interest. All authors certify that they accept responsibility for conducting the study and for the analysis and interpretation of the data, that they all helped writing the manuscript, and that they meet the definition of author as stated by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors. All authors declare they have seen and approved the final manuscript.
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