To evaluate nonpharmacologic interventions, caregivers (65 women, 38 men) and their dementia-diagnosed spouses (patients) were randomized to one of four treatment programs (cognitive stimulation, dyadic counseling, dual supportive seminar, and early-stage day care) or to a wait-list control group. Assessments occurred initially and at postintervention (3 months). Patients were evaluated on memory, verbal fluency, and problem-solving ability, and caregivers were assessed on marital interaction, emotional status, and physical health, along with stress, coping, and social support. Caregivers also completed a program evaluation. Repeated measures procedures showed that patients in the cognitive stimulation group demonstrated more improvement over time in cognitive outcomes, and caregivers decreased in depressive symptoms. Early-stage day-care and dual supportive seminar group caregivers reported a decrease in hostility and a decrease in use of negative coping strategies, respectively. Although qualitatively derived benefits differed across groups, similarities in program content reduced the potential for quantitative differentiation among the groups.
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