Benefit-finding intervention delivered individually to Alzheimer family caregivers: Longer-term outcomes of a randomized double-blind controlled trial

Sheung-Tak CHENG, Pui Man Emily MAK, Timothy KWOK, Helene FUNG, Linda C. W. LAM

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlespeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Objectives: To examine the longer-term effects of benefit-finding on caregivers’ depressive symptoms (primary outcome), and global burden, role overload, psychological well-being, and positive aspects of caregiving (secondary outcomes).
Method: Ninety-six Hong Kong Chinese caregivers of relatives with Alzheimer’s disease were randomly assigned to receive the benefit-finding intervention (BFT) or one of the two control conditions, namely, simplified psychoeducation (lectures only; SIM-PE) or standard psychoeducation (STD-PE). Caregivers received four biweekly one-to-one interventions of 3 hours each at their own homes. We focused on outcomes measured at 4- and 10-month follow-ups. The trajectories of intervention effects were modeled by BFT × time and BFT × time² interaction terms.
Results: Mixed-effects regression showed significant BFT × time² interaction effects on depressive symptoms against both control conditions, suggesting diminishing BFT effects over time. Z tests showed that, compared with controls, BFT participants reported substantial reductions in depressive symptoms at 4-month follow-up (d = −0.85 and −0.75 vs. SIM-PE and STD-PE, respectively). For depressive symptoms measured at 10-month follow-up, BFT was indistinguishable from STD-PE, whereas a moderate effect was observed in comparison with SIM-PE (d = −0.52). Moreover, positive aspects of caregiving, but not other secondary outcomes, continued to show intervention effect up to 10-month follow-up.
Discussion: Benefit-finding is an efficacious intervention for depressive symptoms in Alzheimer caregivers, with strong effects in the medium-term post-intervention and possible moderate effects in the longer-term post-intervention. Copyright © 2019 The Author(s).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1884-1893
JournalThe Journals of Gerontology: Series B
Volume75
Issue number9
Early online date26 Sep 2019
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2020

Citation

Cheng, S.-T., Mak, E. P. M., Kwok, T., Fung, H., & Lam, L. C. W. (2020). Benefit-finding intervention delivered individually to Alzheimer family caregivers: Longer-term outcomes of a randomized double-blind controlled trial. The Journals of Gerontology: Series B, 75(9), 1884-1893. doi: 10.1093/geronb/gbz118

Keywords

  • Dementia caregiving
  • Depression
  • Cognitive reappraisal
  • Positive aspects of caregiving
  • Randomized controlled trial

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