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General practices play an important role in the detection and treatment of depressive symptoms in older adults. An adapted version of the indicated preventive life review therapy group intervention called Looking for Meaning (LFM) was developed for general practice and a pilot evaluation was conducted.
A pretest-posttest design was used. One week before and one week after the intervention participants filled out questionnaires.
In six general practices in the Netherlands the adapted intervention was given.
Inclusion criteria were > 60 years and a score of 5 or higher on the Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale (CES-D).
The length and number of LFM sessions were shortened and the intervention was given by one mental health care nurse practitioner (MHCNP).
The impact on mental health was analyzed by depressive symptoms (CES-D) as the primary outcome and anxiety symptoms (HADS-A), psychological well-being (PGCMS) and mastery (PMS) as secondary outcomes. An evaluative questionnaire was included to evaluate the feasibility and acceptability.
Most participants were satisfied with the adaptations of the number (72%) and length (72%) of sessions. The overall sample showed a significant decrease in depressive symptoms after the intervention. No impact was found on psychological well-being, anxiety symptoms and mastery.
The intervention is feasible and acceptable for older adults with depressive symptoms and has an impact on their depressive symptoms.
Research showed that long-term care facilities differ widely in the use of psychotropic drugs and physical restraints. The aim of this study is to investigate whether characteristics of an unhealthy work environment in facilities for people with dementia are associated with more prescription of psychotropic drugs and physical restraints.
Data were derived from the first wave (2008–2009) of a national monitoring study in the Netherlands. This paper used data on prescription of psychotropic drugs and physical restraints from 111 long-term care facilities, residing 4,796 residents. Survey data of a sample of 996 staff and 1,138 residents were considered. The number of residents with prescribed benzodiazepines and anti-psychotic drugs, and physical restraints were registered. Work environment was assessed using the Leiden Quality of Work Questionnaire (LQWQ).
Logistic regression analyses showed that more supervisor support was associated with less prescription of benzodiazepines. Coworker support was found to be related to less prescription of deep chairs. Job demands and decision authority were not found to be predictors of psychotropic drugs and physical restraints.
Staff's job characteristics were scarcely related to the prescription of psychotropic drugs and physical restraints. This finding indicates that in facilities with an unhealthy work environment for nursing staff, one is not more likely to prescribe drugs or restraints. Further longitudinal research is needed with special attention for multidisciplinary decision making – especially role of physician, staff's knowledge, philosophy of care and institutional policy to gain further insight into factors influencing the use of psychotropic drugs and restraints.
The number of people with dementia is increasing rapidly. Providing care to a relative or friend with dementia may lead to serious mental health problems. Internet interventions may offer opportunities to improve the availability and accessibility of (cost)effective interventions to reduce family caregivers’ psychological distress. This study describes the acceptability of a guided self-help Internet intervention “mastery over dementia” (MoD), aimed at reducing caregivers’ psychological distress, in terms of reach, adherence and user evaluation.
The sample for this study is the experimental group that participated in the (cost)effectiveness trial of MoD (N = 149). Data on characteristics of family caregivers and people with dementia, completion and user evaluation were used and analyzed with descriptive statistics, χ2and T-tests.
MoD reaches a wide variety of caregivers, also those aged 75+, having a relative with a recent diagnosis of dementia or living in a care home. However, the percentage of caregivers who did not complete all eight lessons was rather high (55.7%). Among the completers (N = 66; 44.3%) were significantly more spouses, caregivers living in the same household, older caregivers, and those caring for somebody with another formal diagnosis than Alzheimer's disease. Caregivers’ evaluation showed that females rated higher on the comprehensibility of the lessons and feedback and spent less time on the lessons.
The guided self-help Internet intervention MoD is acceptable for a broad range of family caregivers of people with dementia. The next step is to substantiate its (cost)effectiveness.
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