A Training Program for People with Alzheimer Disease and their Family Caregivers: A Randomized Controlled Trial

Background

People with dementia and their caregivers can suffer a lot from dementia. Providing care to people with dementia is a heavy responsibility which can affect the health and normal lives of family caregivers. There is no cure for dementia, but prevention and treatment focused on behaviour problems that may result from the dementia and the care situation is feasible. A recent review shows that combined interventions both for people with dementia and their caregivers were most effective to diminish depressive symptoms of people with dementia. One of the promising combined interventions is an intervention developed by Linda Teri and colleagues. People with Alzheimer disease receive an exercise program together with their caregivers. The caregivers are also trained in behaviour management techniques to deal with behavioural disturbances. People with Alzheimer disease who participated in the intervention program performed significantly better on physical measures and measures of affective status compared to the usual care group.

Objectives

In our study we will translate the intervention program of Teri, adapt the program to the Dutch situation and study whether it is feasible and effective. We will use the same measures as in the study of Teri and add measures for physical, cognitive and executive functioning to study the effects of the intervention program. In addition we will study the effects of the integrated treatment program on the mood of the family caregivers.

Methods

A randomized Controlled Trial (RCT) will be conducted. The patients-caregivers dyads will be randomly assigned to the training program or care-as-usual with attention. The duration of the exercise training is three months. The intervention effect will be assessed by trained interviewers blind to the treatment assignment. Assessments are conducted at screening baseline, after 3 months (posttreatment) and at 6, and 12-month follow-up. Confidential information and patient names are treated according to the medical confidentiality rules.

Staff and partners

PhD Student:
Anna-Eva Prick, MSc

Promotors:
Prof. Anne Margriet Pot, PhD
Prof. Erik Scherder, PhD

Co-promotor:
Jacomine de Lange, PhD

for more information see

www.dementieinbeweging.nl

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