Background: This study was designed to determine the effectiveness of a psychosocial intervention for family caregivers in delaying nursing home placement of individuals with dementia.
Methods: The participants comprised 153 family caregivers of persons with dementia who underwent intervention and 155 family caregivers who did not. The intervention consisted of five weekly counselling sessions and a three-month conversation group. All patients with dementia underwent a standardized assessment of cognitive and functional ability. The degree of burden and the subjective health of family caregivers were assessed. Participation continued until the patient moved to a nursing home or died, or until five years of living at home had passed.
Results: There were significant delays (6 months) in nursing home placement, and a longer time at home for persons with dementia with adult children as caregivers in the intervention group compared to the control group at follow-up (p = 0.004). A greater delay of institutionalization was found where intervention-group caregivers were daughters (p = 0.028). The proportional hazards regression showed factors associated with nursing home placement to be the family caregiver's influence on intervention (OR = 1.55, p = 0.019), caregiver gender (OR = 0.66, p = 0.033) and the patient's severity of dementia (OR = 1.45, p = 0.002).
Conclusion: Family caregiver intervention for adult children was significantly associated with prolonged time to nursing home placement.