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Effectiveness of cognitive–behavioural family intervention in reducing the burden of care in carers of patients with Alzheimer's disease

  • Alison Marriott (a1), Catherine Donaldson (a2), Nicholas Tarrier (a3) and Alistair Burns (a4)
Abstract
Background

The majority of patients with Alzheimer's disease live outside institutions and there is considerable serious psychological morbidity among their carers.

Aims

To evaluate whether family intervention reduces the subjective burden of care in carers of patients with Alzheimer's disease and produces clinical benefits in the patients.

Method

A prospective single-blind randomised controlled trial with three-month follow-up in which the experimental group received family intervention and was compared with two control groups.

Results

There were significant reductions in distress and depression in the intervention group compared with control groups at post-treatment and follow-up. There were significant reductions in behavioural disturbance at post-treatment and an increase in activities at three months in patients in the intervention group. Based on an improvement on the General Health Questionnaire resulting in a carer converting from a case to a non-case, the number to treat was three immediately post-treatment and two at follow-up.

Conclusions

Family intervention can have significant benefits in carers of patients with Alzheimer's disease and has a positive impact on patient behaviour.

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Copyright
Corresponding author
Professor Alistair Burns, Professor of Old Age Psychiatry, University Department of Psychiatry, Withington Hospital, West Didsbury, Manchester M20 8LR, UK. Tel.: 0161 291 4355/3310/4831; fax: 0161 445 5305; e-mail: A_Burns@fsl.with.man.ac.uk
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Declaration of interest

The study was funded through a fellowship from the Alzheimer's Disease Society.

Footnotes
References
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The British Journal of Psychiatry
  • ISSN: 0007-1250
  • EISSN: 1472-1465
  • URL: /core/journals/the-british-journal-of-psychiatry
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Effectiveness of cognitive–behavioural family intervention in reducing the burden of care in carers of patients with Alzheimer's disease

  • Alison Marriott (a1), Catherine Donaldson (a2), Nicholas Tarrier (a3) and Alistair Burns (a4)
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