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Caregivers for elderly people with Alzheimer's Disease: teaching them to use coping strategies and cognitive stimulation techniques

Grant number: 13/20684-1
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): June 01, 2014
Effective date (End): November 30, 2015
Field of knowledge:Humanities - Psychology - Social Psychology
Principal researcher:Elizabeth Joan Barham
Grantee:Camila Rafael Ferreira Campos
Home Institution: Centro de Educação e Ciências Humanas (CECH). Universidade Federal de São Carlos (UFSCAR). São Carlos , SP, Brazil


Those who care for an elderly person with Alzheimer's disease (AD) often report high levels of stress and develop health problems. The objective of the current study is to evaluate an intervention that aims to teach the caregivers about different coping strategies and about cognitive stimulation techniques, so they can better deal with the care recipient's problematic behaviors. Participants will be recruited via the São Lourenço Hospital in MG, Brazil, and will be randomly assigned to either the Intervention Group (IG) or the Control Group (CG). The study will be conducted in four stages: initial assessment; the first module of the intervention, on coping strategies; the second module, on cognitive stimulation; and post-tests. Brazilian versions of the following instruments will be used to evaluate the intervention: The Caregiver Burden Interview, the Coping Strategies Inventory, the Dyadic Relationship Scale, a Weekly Register of activities undertaken to provide cognitive stimulation for the elderly person, a brief questionnaire about behaviors the elderly person presents that the caregiver regards as being problematic, and a test of knowledge about dementia and coping strategies. Pre and post-test results obtained using the first three measures will be compared for the CG and IG using Wilcoxon's Z-test. For the remaining instruments, a qualitative analysis will be conducted. As such, it will be possible to determine whether or not this intervention approach can help reduce caregiver stress and increase the quality of the relationship between caregivers and care recipients in the IG, in comparison with the CG. (AU)

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