Keeping the person with dementia and the informal caregiver together: a systematic review of psychosocial interventions.
Social support, relationships, and closeness are emphasized as important by both people with dementia and their informal caregivers. Psychosocial interventions might be helpful to reinforce the relationship between a person with dementia and his or her informal caregiver. Therefore, this review explores what types of psychosocial interventions have been provided for people with dementia and their informal caregivers together, and the effectiveness of these interventions.
PubMed, PsychInfo, Cinahl, and references of key papers were searched for studies describing a psychosocial intervention for people with dementia and their informal caregivers together. Psychosocial interventions were defined as focusing primarily on psychological or social factors.
A total of seven publications describing six studies were identified as eligible for inclusion in this review. Interventions ranged in focus from skills training to viewing/making art. The methodology of the studies varied, especially regarding the outcome measures used. The results of individual studies were mixed. A narrative synthesis of the included studies is given.
Although caregiving dyads emphasize the importance of their relationship, this is mostly not taken into consideration in the design and effect evaluations of the interventions. Improved research is needed on this subject, which focuses on people with dementia living in the community and those living in nursing homes.
Exercise Training for Persons with Alzheimer‘s Disease and Caregivers: A Review of Dyadic Exercise Interventions.
Alzheimer‘s disease (AD) is the most common form of dementia and the prevalence will increase dramatically in the next decades. Although exercise has shown benefits for people with dementia due to AD as well as their caregivers, the impact of a dyadic exercise intervention including both groups as study participants remains to be determined. The authors review the current clinical evidence for dyadic exercise interventions, which are exercise regimens applied to both the person with dementia and the caregiver. A total of 4 controlled trials were reviewed. This review shows that dyadic exercise interventions are feasible and may produce a positive effect on functional independence and caregiver burden. However, there was insufficient evidence to support a benefit of dyadic exercise intervention on cognitive performance and on behavioral and neuropsychiatric symptoms in participants with dementia due to AD. A dyadic exercise intervention improves functional independence and caregiver burden. However, there is a need for well-designed randomized controlled clinical trials to confirm these benefits and to investigate several important points such as the effects of a dyadic exercise intervention on cognitive and noncognitive outcomes of AD, the optimal intensity of exercise training, and the cost effectiveness of such a program.
Alzheimer‘s disease; caregivers; clinical trial; exercise
Caregiver profiles in dementia related to quality of life, depression and perseverance time in the European Actifcare study: the importance of social health.
To identify caregiver profiles of persons with mild to moderate dementia and to investigate differences between identified caregiver profiles, using baseline data of the international prospective cohort study Actifcare.
A latent class analysis was used to discover different caregiver profiles based on disease related characteristics of 453 persons with dementia and their 453 informal caregivers. These profiles were compared with regard to quality of life (CarerQoL score), depressive symptoms (HADS-D score) and perseverance time.
A 5-class model was identified, with the best Bayesian Information Criterion value, significant likelihood ratio test (p < 0.001), high entropy score (0.88) and substantive interpretability. The classes could be differentiated on two axes: (i) caregivers‘ age, relationship with persons with dementia, severity of dementia, and (ii) tendency towards stress and difficulty adapting to stress. Classes showed significant differences with all dependent variables, and were labelled ‘older low strain’, ‘older intermediate strain’, ‘older high strain’, ‘younger low strain’ and ‘younger high strain’.
Differences exist between types of caregivers that explain variability in quality of life, depressive symptoms and perseverance time. Our findings may give direction for tailored interventions for caregivers of persons with dementia, which may improve social health and reduce health care costs.