Long-term effects of bereavement and caregiver intervention on dementia caregiver depressive symptoms
Citation Haley, W., Bergman, E.J., Roth, D.L., McVie, T., Gaugler, J.E., & Mittelman, M, S. (2008). Long-term effects of bereavement and caregiver intervention on dementia caregiver depressive symptoms. The Gerontologist, 48(6), 732-740
Purpose The purpose of this study was to examine the joint effects of bereavement and caregiver intervention on caregiver depressive symptoms.
Participants The participants of this study were Alzheimer's caregivers, N = 254
Procedure Participants in the enhanced support condition were repeatedly assessed with the Geriatric Depression Scale prior to and following bereavement. Their results were compared to those of a control group who received usual care.
Outcomes The death of the care recipient led to reductions in depressive symptoms for both caregiving groups. Enhanced support intervention led to lower depressive symptoms compared with controls both before and after bereavement. Post bereavement group differences were stronger for caregivers of spouses who did not previously experience a nursing home placement. These caregivers maintained these differences for more than 1 year after bereavement. Caregivers who received the enhanced support intervention were more likely to show long-term patterns of fewer depressive symptoms before and after bereavement, suggesting resilience, whereas control caregivers were more likely to show chronic depressive symptoms before and after the death of their spouse.
Author Haley, W., Bergman, E.J., Roth, D.L., McVie, T., Gaugler, J.E., & Mittelman, M, S.