Coping with dementia caregiving : a mixed-methods study on feasability and benefits of a psycho-educative group program

Pihet, Sandrine (School of Health Sciences, HES-SO Fribourg) ; Kipfer, Stephanie (School of Health Sciences, HES-SO Fribourg)

Background: Persons with dementia experience a progressive decline associated with an increasing dependency. Most of the support they require to stay at home comes from their informal caregivers (IC). Dementia informal caregiving imposes high costs on IC’s health and quality of life, related to long periods of chronic stress. Based on evidence that more adequate coping strategies can reduce chronic stress and its negative consequences, and that psycho-educative interventions have the broadest effects on IC quality of life, the program “Learning to feel better… and help better” was developed in French-speaking Canada. This group intervention focusing on coping with the daily stress of dementia caregiving showed efficacy in decreasing the behavior problems of the person with dementia and the associated stress reactions in their IC. The objectives of our study were to examine within a one group pre- and post-test design 1) the feasibility of implementing the program in two regions of Frenchspeaking Switzerland, 2) the effects of the program, and 3) the participants’ use of the trained strategies in daily life. Method: A mixed-methods concurrent nested design was used to quantitatively evaluate the feasibility, the effects on five core outcomes, and strategy use in daily life. Additional qualitative data documented in depth the acceptability and impact of the intervention. Results: We analyzed 18 complete data sets. Regarding feasibility, qualitative and quantitative results converged towards a very good acceptance of the program and a strong implication of the participants. Regarding effects, the program resulted in substantial and significant improvements in burden (d = 0.41, p < .05), psychological distress (d = 0. 54, p < .05) and self-efficacy (d = 0.43, p < .05). The qualitative results emphasized the benefits of a group format: Participants felt understood by peers, could build new social bonds and experienced reduced social isolation. Data regularly collected in daily life showed that participants were using more and more over time the strategies they learned (β01= 0.55, p < .001), particularly reframing. Conclusion: This study expands on the original one conducted by the developers of the program in French-speaking Canada, by showing the feasibility and the very promising effects of this intervention in two regions of Frenchspeaking Switzerland.


Keywords:
Article Type:
scientifique
Faculty:
Santé
School:
HEdS-FR
Institute:
Recherche appliquée et développement Santé HEDS-FR
Date:
2018-09
Pagination:
13 p.
Published in:
BMC Geriatrics
Numeration (vol. no.):
2019, vol. 18, no. 209
DOI:
ISSN:
1471-2318
Appears in Collection:



 Record created 2019-12-02, last modified 2020-03-05

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