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Keeping the person with dementia and the informal caregiver together: a systematic review of psychosocial interventions

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  28 November 2016

Annemarie Rausch
Affiliation:
Department of Public Health and Primary Care, Leiden University Medical Center, Leiden, the Netherlands Florence, Laan van Vredenoord 1, Rijswijk, the Netherlands
Monique A. A. Caljouw*
Affiliation:
Department of Public Health and Primary Care, Leiden University Medical Center, Leiden, the Netherlands
Eva S. van der Ploeg
Affiliation:
Department of Public Health and Primary Care, Leiden University Medical Center, Leiden, the Netherlands Argos Zorggroep, Voorberghlaan 35, Schiedam, the Netherlands
*
Correspondence should be addressed to: M.A.A. Caljouw, PhD, Department of Public Health and Primary Care, Leiden University Medical Center, Postbus 9600, 2300 RC, Leiden, the Netherlands. Phone: +31 (0)71 5268444; Fax: +31 (0)71 5268259. Email: M.A.A.Caljouw@lumc.nl.

Abstract

Background:

Social support, relationships, and closeness are emphasized as important by both people with dementia and their informal caregivers. Psychosocial interventions might be helpful to reinforce the relationship between a person with dementia and his or her informal caregiver. Therefore, this review explores what types of psychosocial interventions have been provided for people with dementia and their informal caregivers together, and the effectiveness of these interventions.

Methods:

PubMed, PsychInfo, Cinahl, and references of key papers were searched for studies describing a psychosocial intervention for people with dementia and their informal caregivers together. Psychosocial interventions were defined as focusing primarily on psychological or social factors.

Results:

A total of seven publications describing six studies were identified as eligible for inclusion in this review. Interventions ranged in focus from skills training to viewing/making art. The methodology of the studies varied, especially regarding the outcome measures used. The results of individual studies were mixed. A narrative synthesis of the included studies is given.

Conclusion:

Although caregiving dyads emphasize the importance of their relationship, this is mostly not taken into consideration in the design and effect evaluations of the interventions. Improved research is needed on this subject, which focuses on people with dementia living in the community and those living in nursing homes.

Type
Review Article
Copyright
Copyright © International Psychogeriatric Association 2016 

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