Comprehensive Support for Alzheimer's Disease Caregivers


Grants and Contracts Details


Family care for Alzheimer's patients has received significant attention in the gerontological literature. Considerable research has demonstrated who caregivers are, what caregivers do, and the potential emotional, psychological, physical, social, and financial burdens caregivers experience. However, psychosocial interventions designed to alleviate negative caregiving outcomes generally report mixed results. One particular intervention that has proved successful in reducing caregiver depression and delaying care recipient institutionalization is the Enhanced Counseling and Support Intervention (ECS) implemented by Mittelman and her associates at the New York University Alzheimer's Disease Research Center (NYU-ADRC; see Mittelman et al., 1993; 1995). While the ECS is one of the few psychosocial interventions that have reported positive results, findings are limited to one experimental site and spouses of Alzheimer's patients. The proposed analysis will expand on prior research by: 1) testing the benefits of the ECS for Alzheimer's caregivers at a non-urban experimental site, the University of Kentucky Alzheimer's Disease Research Center (UK-ADRC); and 2) expanding the scope of the ECS by focusing on adult child Alzheimer's caregivers and comparing the benefits of the ECS intervention at both the UK-ADRC and NYU-ADRC sites. This 5-year study will use a randomized experimental design and will include 440 adult child caregivers across the two experimental sites (220 adult child caregivers at UK-ADRC; 220 adult child caregivers at NYU-ADRC). The experimental design (which will include the ECS treatment condition and a usual contact control group), up to 5-years of data collection, and a large sample size will allow for more valid and generalizable results than other psychosocial interventions. Moreover, the prospective longitudinal design with assessments beginning prior to enrollment, every 4 months during the first year of the intervention, and every 6 months thereafter will allow for use of sophisticated longitudinal analyses (Le., growth curve models) to determine the effectiveness of the ECS. The proposed evaluation will provide detailed information on the potential of the ECS to serve as a model intervention for various family caregivers of Alzheimer's patients in diverse geographic contexts.
Effective start/end date9/30/047/31/05


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