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Effects of a home environmental skill-building program on caregivers and care recipients

Citation Corcoran, M., et al. (2003). Effects of the home environmental skill-building program on the caregiver-care recipient dyad: 6-month outcomes from the philadelphia REACH initiative. The Gerontological Society of America, 43 (4), 532 – 546.

Design Randomized controlled

Purpose The purpose of the study was to measure the impact that home visits and a telephone contact by an occupational therapist had on caregivers’ objective and subjective burden, and overall well- being by providing education, problem solving training and adaptive equipment. The study also explored the impact on the care recipients’ behavior and physical function.

Participants The study’s participants were comprised of n=190 family caregivers. (n=101 control group, n=89 intervention group).

Outcome / Dependent Variables Family caregivers’ gender, relationship to care recipient, race and martial status were measured as dichotomous variables. Seven measures of stress reduction and four measures reflecting enhancement effects were utilized in examining caregivers’ ratings. Care recipients were measured on three outcomes: occurrence of behavioral issues, dependence in activities of daily living (ADLs), and dependence in instrumental activities of daily living (IADLs).

Procedure Baseline and 6 month follow-up (self report).

Outcomes The caregivers in the intervention group (n=89) reported less upset with memory-related behaviors, less dependency on needing assistance from others and better affect. Intervention spouses reported less upset with destructive behavior.

Author Corcoran M., Dennis M., Gitlin L., Hauck W., Schinfeld S., and Winter L.