Skills training for spouses with alzheimer's disease: Outcomes of an intervention study
Citation Bourgeois, M. S., Schulz, R., Burgio, L. D., & Beach, S. (2002). Skills training for spouses with Alzheimer's disease: Outcomes of an intervention study. Journal of Clinical Gerontology, 8(1), 53-73.
Purpose The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effects of a 12-week intervention on a patient focused skills training group and a caregiver focused skills training group, compared to those on a control group that received comparable attention, but no training.
Hypothesis Patients in the patient-change group were expected to demonstrate fewer problem behaviors immediately after training as well as at 3- and 6-month follow-ups than patients whose caregivers were assigned to the control group. Caregivers who were taught to change their own coping behaviors were hypothesized to report more positive and less negative mood than caregivers in the control group immediately after training as well as at 3- and 6-month follow-ups. Caregivers in both intervention groups were expected to show more positive outcomes relative to the control group on indirectly related psychosocial outcomes, including caregiver strain, negative affect (anger and anxiety), self-efficacy, perceived stress, depression, and perceived health. However, these effects were expected to be weaker and less likely to persist over time than the hypothesized direct effects of the interventions.
Participants The participants recruited for this study were (N=93) eligible patients and their caregivers. 63 enrolled patients completed the 12-week intervention, 13 enrolled patients dropped out prior to intervention completion (as a result of patient hospitalization or institutionalization), and 17 chose not to enroll.
Outcome / Dependent Variables Patient problem behaviors, caregiver mood, depression, perceived stress and perceived strain
Procedure Two approaches were compared: One approach focused on teaching caregivers to change patient behavior and the second approach was designed to teach caregivers to change their own coping behaviors. These two groups were compared to a third group, a visitation control group, which controlled for the long-term effects of time spent with supportive project staff. The intervention effects were monitored immediately after training and at 3- and 6-month follow-ups.
Outcomes both treatment groups learned skills that helped reduce or improve targeted behaviors (patient problem behaviors and caregiver mood, respectively) and had some effect on related outcomes (temporary effects on depression and perceived stress and delayed effects on perceived strain).
Author Bourgeois, M. S., Schulz, R., Burgio, L. D., & Beach, S.