Background: In recent years, many different forms of interventions for caregivers of people with dementia have been developed. However, their results have been, in part, inconclusive.
Methods: Meta-analysis was used to integrate the results of 127 intervention studies with dementia caregivers published or presented between 1982 and 2005.
Results: Interventions had, on average, significant but small effects on burden, depression, subjective well-being, ability/knowledge and symptoms of care recipient. Only multicomponent interventions reduced the risk for institu-tionalization. Psychoeducational interventions that require active participation of caregivers had the broadest effects. Effects of cognitive-behavioral therapy, support, counseling, daycare, training of care recipient, and multicomponent interventions were domain specific. The effect sizes varied by study chara-cteristics, such as caregiver gender and year of publication.
Conclusions: Because most interventions have domain-specific outcomes, clinicians must tailor interventions according to the specific needs of the individual caregivers. Although more recent interventions showed stronger effects, there is room for further improvements in interventions.
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