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Keywords:

  • dementia;
  • behavioral symptoms;
  • health-related quality of life;
  • depression;
  • home-based caregiver training program

Objectives

Little is known about the longitudinal effects of training programs on family caregivers' health-related quality of life (HRQoL) and depressive symptoms over time. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to examine the effects of a home-based caregiver training program on HRQoL and depressive symptoms for family caregivers of older persons with dementia.

Methods

Outcomes (caregivers' HRQoL and depressive symptoms) were assessed before the training program (baseline), and at 2 weeks, 3 months, and 6 months afterwards. HRQoL was measured using the Medical Outcomes Study 36-item Short Form Survey, Taiwan version. Depressive symptoms were measured using the Chinese version Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale.

Results

Family caregivers who received the individualized home-based training program had better health outcomes in bodily pain (b = 12.37, p < 0.013), role disability due to emotional problems (b = 17.74, p < 0.013), vitality (b = 12.40, p < 0.001), better mental summary score (b = 5.14, p < 0.003), and decreased risk for depression (odds ratio = 0.15, confidence interval = 0.04–0.65, p < 0.013) than those in the control group during the 6 months following the training program.

Conclusion

Our home-based caregiver training program improved caregivers' HRQoL, especially role limitations due to emotional problems, and decreased their risk for depression. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.