Empirically based treatments for family caregiver distress: what works and where do we go from here?

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Abstract

Family caregivers of older adults with significant cognitive and/or physical impairment are at increased risk for both psychiatric and physical morbidity. This article examines the research literature dedicated to the development of effective interventions to reduce distress and enhance well-being for these caregivers. Using a recent empirically based treatment (EBT) review of the literature as a backdrop, 3 overarching types of interventions were described as effective: psychoeducational skill building, psychotherapy (cognitive-behavioral in focus), and multicomponent (using a combination of at least 2 approaches such as education, family meetings, and skill building). Suggestions are made to facilitate future caregiver intervention research and translation of EBTs into the community including the need to expand rigorous research with caregivers of older adults facing problems other than dementia, including older patients with psychiatric problems; develop and test interventions designed for transitions into and out of the caregiving roles, as well as interventions designed to improve physical health outcomes and promote health behaviors; create linkages between interventions at multiple levels of delivery; extend caregiver intervention work with underrepresented ethnic and racial populations; and investigate the cost-effectiveness of caregiver interventions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)426-436
Number of pages11
JournalGeriatric nursing (New York, N.Y.)
Volume30
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jan 1 2009

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gerontology

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