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Pilot Study of a Transitional Intervention for Family Caregivers of Older Adults

  • Jane McCusker (a1) (a2), Sylvie D. Lambert (a1) (a3), Mark J. Yaffe (a1) (a4) (a5), Martin G. Cole (a1) (a6), Marcela Hidalgo (a1), Ella Amir (a7), Manon de Raad (a1) and Eric Belzile (a1)...


Objective: To conduct a formative evaluation of a transitional intervention for family caregivers, with assessment of feasibility, acceptability, appropriateness, and potential benefits. Methods: The intervention aimed to provide emotional support, information on community resources, and information and support for development of coping skills for the caregivers of patients aged 65 and older who were to be discharged home from an acute medical hospital admission. We used a one-group, pre- and three-month post-test study design. Results: Ninety-one patient-caregiver dyads were recruited. Of these, 63 caregivers (69%) received all five planned intervention sessions, while 60 (66%) completed the post-test. There were significant reductions in caregiver anxiety and depression following the intervention, and high rates of satisfaction. Discussion: This transitional intervention should be further evaluated, preferably with a control group, either as a stand-alone intervention or as one component of a comprehensive transitional intervention for older patients and their caregivers.

Objectif: Évaluation (faisabilité, acceptabilité, pertinence et bienfaits potentiels) d’une intervention de transition pour proches aidants. Méthode: L’intervention visait à fournir du soutien émotionnel, de l’information sur les ressources communautaires et du soutien au développement des capacités d’adaptation pour les proches aidants de patients de 65 ans et plus qui avaient reçu leur congé suite à une hospitalisation de courte durée. L’approche méthodologique a impliqué un seul groupe, qui a été évalué lors d’un pré-test et d’un post-test effectué trois mois après le début de l’intervention. Résultats: Quatre-vingt-onze dyades patients-proches ont été recrutées. Soixante-trois (69 %) proches aidants ont reçu les cinq séances d’intervention (tel que prévu) et 60 (66 %) proches aidants ont complété le test final. Une diminution significative de l’anxiété et de la dépression des proches aidants et un taux de satisfaction élevé ont été notés après l’intervention. Discussion: Cette intervention de transition pour les patients plus âgés et leurs proches aidants devrait faire l’objet d’une évaluation plus poussée, de préférence avec un groupe de contrôle, en tant qu’intervention autonome ou comme une composante d’une intervention de transition complète.


Corresponding author

La correspondance et les demandes de tirés-à-part doivent être adressées à : / Correspondence and requests for offprints should be sent to: Jane McCusker, MD, DrPH St Mary’s Research Centre Hayes Pavilion, Suite 3734 3830 Avenue Lacombe Montreal, PQ H3T 1M5 (


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The authors wish to acknowledge the contributions of the caregiver advocate, Ventsislav Tomov, and the support of the St Mary’s Hospital Center clinicians who facilitated patient and caregiver recruitment.

Funding: The funding was provided by l’Appui Montreal. The funding organization had no role in the design, implementation, interpretation, or reporting of this study.



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