Outcomes of a Two Component Intervention on Depression in Dementia Caregivers

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Purpose: A quasi-experimental design was used to evaluate the impact of the two-component psychosocial intervention on caregiver depression. Methods: The intervention was based on two evidence-based components: the Progressively Lowered Stress Threshold model and a family meeting strategy based on Mittelman’s New York University intervention. Caregivers (N = 127) were followed for eighteen months to assess depression using the Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS). Results: There were slight changes in the GDS scores over time (14.6 at baseline and 12.9, 13.0, and 13.0, respectively, at six-, twelve-, and eighteen-month follow-up, p = 0.002). Individuals with a high school degree or less had significantly higher GDS scores than their counterparts. Caregivers facing financial strain had a significant reduction in their GDS scores compared to those of their counterparts. Implications: The combined two-component intervention decreased the level of caregiver depression, adding to the growing evidence base for practice interventions.

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