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A nursing intervention to decrease depression in family caregivers of persons with dementia.

Buckwalter KC, Gerdner L, Kohout F, Hall GR, Kelly A, Richards B, Sime M. A nursing intervention to decrease depression in family caregivers of persons with dementia. Archives of psychiatric nursing. 1999 Apr 1; 13(2):80-8.

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The goal of this study was to evaluate a community-based psychoeducational-nursing intervention designed to teach home caregivers to manage behavioral problems of persons with Alzheimer's disease and related dementias (ADRD) using the Progressively Lowered Stress Threshold (PLST) model, and to compare this intervention with routine information and referrals for case management, community-based services, and support groups. Previous caregiver studies have overwhelmingly pointed to the adverse effects of caregiving on the caregivers' physical and mental health, and high prevalence rates of depression among caregivers of persons with ADRD have consistently been reported. Therefore, a primary aim was to evaluate the impact of the intervention on caregivers' affective responses, especially depression. Data from both the Profile of Moods States and the Geriatric Depression Rating Scale support the effectiveness of this intervention in decreasing depression among caregivers who received the experimental training. Additional analysis of factors associated with caregiver depression are also reported. The pivotal role of psychiatric nurses in the assessment and treatment of depression among caregivers of persons with ADRD is discussed.

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