Are care-recipient outcomes attributable to improved caregiver well-being? A cluster-randomized controlled trial of benefit-finding intervention

Sheung-Tak CHENG, Wai Chi CHAN, Linda C.W. LAM

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlespeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Objectives: The benefit-finding therapeutic (BFT) intervention, training cognitive reappraisal, and alternative thinking to construct positive aspects of caregiving have been found to reduce caregiver depression. This study examines BFT effects on care-recipient outcomes via reduced caregiver depression. 

Design: Cluster-randomized double-blind controlled trial. 

Setting: Social centers and clinics. 

Participants: A total of 129 caregivers. Inclusion criteria were 1) primary caregiver aged 18+, 2) without cognitive impairment, 3) providing ≥14 care hours weekly to a relative with mild-to-moderate Alzheimer's disease, and 4) scoring ≥3 on the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale. Exclusion criterion was care-recipient having Parkinsonism or other forms of dementia. 

Interventions: BFT was evaluated against two forms of psychoeducation—standard and simplified (lectures only) psychoeducation. 

Measurements: Care-recipient outcomes included neuropsychiatric symptoms (NPS), functional impairment, and global dementia severity (Clinical Dementia Rating sum-of-box), measured at baseline, postintervention, and 4- and 10-month follow up. 

Results: Mixed-effects regressions showed a significant effect on NPS when compared with simplified psychoeducation only, with BFT participants reporting fewer NPS (especially mood symptoms) at 4-month follow-up (d = -0.52). Furthermore, longitudinal path analysis (using changes in caregiver depression scores at postintervention to predict changes in care-recipient NPS at follow-up) found that this effect was mediated by improved caregiver depression. No other intervention or mediation effects were found or were consistent across analyses. 

Conclusions: Less depressed caregivers may be able to provide better care and more positive interactions, leading to reduced NPS in care-recipients. However, this benefit of BFT was limited to the comparison with simplified psychoeducation only. Copyright © 2021 American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
JournalThe American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry
Early online dateAug 2021
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - Aug 2021

Citation

Cheng, S.-T., Chan, W. C., & Lam, L. C. W. (2021). Are care-recipient outcomes attributable to improved caregiver well-being? A cluster-randomized controlled trial of benefit-finding intervention. The American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1016/j.jagp.2021.08.009

Keywords

  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Caregiving
  • Benefit-finding
  • Neuropsychiatric symptoms
  • Activities of daily living

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Are care-recipient outcomes attributable to improved caregiver well-being? A cluster-randomized controlled trial of benefit-finding intervention'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.