The effect of a family therapy and technology-based intervention on caregiver depression

Carl Eisdorfer, Sara J. Czaja, David A. Loewenstein, Mark P. Rubert, Soledad Argüelles, Victoria B. Mitrani, José Szapocznik

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185 Scopus citations

Abstract

Purpose: The majority of persons with Alzheimer's disease (AD) are cared for at home by a family member such as a spouse or daughter. Caregiving places enormous demands on these caregivers, and the negative consequences associated with caregiving are well documented. This paper reports results from the Miami site of the REACH (Resources for Enhancing Alzheimer's Caregiver Health) program that examined the efficacy of a family therapy and technology-based intervention in reducing depressive symptoms (according to the Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression scale) among family caregivers of AD patients at 6 months and 18 months follow-up. Design and Methods: There were 225 White American and Cuban American caregivers that were randomized into a structural ecosystems therapy, structural ecosystems therapy + computer-telephone integrated system, or minimal support control condition. Results: Caregivers in the combined family therapy and technology intervention experienced a significant reduction in depressive symptoms at 6 months. The 18-month follow-up data indicated that the intervention was particularly beneficial for Cuban American husband and daughter caregivers. Implications: The results indicate that information technology has a promising role in alleviating distress and depression among groups of AD caregivers. The data also demonstrate that interventions have differential impacts according to ethnic group and the caregiver-patient relationship.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)521-531
Number of pages11
JournalGerontologist
Volume43
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2003

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Keywords

  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Caregiving
  • Intervention research
  • Technology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aging

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