Effects of an automated telephone support system on caregiver burden and anxiety: Findings from the REACH for TLC intervention study
Citation Mahoney, D.F., Tarlow, B.J. & Jones, R.N. (2003). Effects of an automated telephone support system on caregiver burden and anxiety: Findings from the REACH for TLC intervention study. The Gerontologist, 43(4), 556-567.
Hypothesis Caregivers in the intervention group will have less caregiving stress than those in the control group.
Caregivers in the intervention group with low mastery (mastery: the sense that one regards one's life chances as being under one's own control) will experience more intervention effects than those with high mastery. Caregiving wives will show greater reduction in caregiving stress than caregiving husbands or children.
Participants 100 caregivers were randomly assigned to the usual care control group (N=51) and the technology intervention group (N=49).
Outcome / Dependent Variables BOTHER (bothersome nature of the care recipient's disruptive behaviors, anxiety, and depression) was measured by the Revised Memory and Behavior Problems Checklist (RMBPC).
anxiety measured on the State Anxiety Inventory (STAI).
depression measured on the Center for Epedemiological Studies Depression Scale (CES-D).
Procedure Caregivers in the Technology Intervention group received yearlong access to an interactive voice response (IVR) system (talking computer spoke in response to signals received from touch tone phone, rich with Alzheimer's disease info) and a voice mail telecommunications system for interactive messaging with peers and professionals.
Outcomes Overall, there was no significant main effect of the intervention in reducing BOTHER scores, Depression scores and Anxiety scores.
Participants with low mastery at baseline experienced a greater decline in BOTHER (RMBPC) scores, CES-D depressive symptoms and STAI anxious complaints over the study period.
Hypothesis #3 was partially supported: there was a significant intervention effect for caregivers who where wives, only on their BOTHER scores. There was no other significant difference in treatment effectiveness for any of the other outcomes.
Author Mahoney, D.F., Tarlow, B.J. & Jones, R.N