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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.
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.
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.
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.
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