Home-based caregiver training: Benefits differ by care receivers' dementia diagnosis

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Abstract

Patients with dementia differ in their behavioral and psychological symptoms according to their diagnosis with Alzheimer's disease (AD) or vascular dementia (VaD), requiring different symptom-management strategies. This study analyzed data from a sub-sample of a randomized clinical trial to determine the effects of a home-based training program on family caregivers of patients with dementia in northern Taiwan. Our sub-sample comprised patient-caregiver dyads (46 VaD and 68 AD patients) followed for 18 months. Caregivers of AD patients in the intervention group had better competence, preparedness, health-related quality of life, and fewer depressive symptoms than those in the control group. Caregivers of VaD patients in the intervention group had better competence and health-related quality of life than those in the control group. The training program benefited family caregivers of AD patients more than caregivers of VaD patients. Specific training programs need to be developed for family caregivers of VaD patients.

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