Evid Based Nurs 4:52 doi:10.1136/ebn.4.2.52
  • Treatment

A cognitive behavioural family intervention reduced psychiatric morbidity in caregivers of patients with Alzheimer's disease

 QUESTION: Does a cognitive behavioural family intervention reduce psychological distress and depression in caregivers of patients with Alzheimer's disease, and improve patient symptoms?


Randomised (allocation concealed), blinded (outcome assessors), controlled trial with follow up at 3 months.


Old age psychiatric service in 2 NHS trusts in Manchester, UK.


42 patient-caregiver dyads. Patients (mean age 77 y, 71% women) had to meet DSM-III-R criteria for primary degenerative dementia of the Alzheimer type, and had to be living in the community with a caregiver who provided their main support. Caregivers (mean age 64 y, 69% women) had to have General Health Questionnaire (GHQ) scores ≥5, indicating psychiatric caseness. Follow up was 98%.


14 patient-caregiver dyads were allocated to the 14 session family intervention, which comprised 3 sessions of caregiver education, 6 sessions of stress management, and 5 sessions of coping skills training. 14 dyads …

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