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Keywords:

  • Alzheimer's disease;
  • dementia;
  • family caregivers;
  • randomized clinical trial;
  • qualitative analysis;
  • caregiver skills

Abstract

In this descriptive study we examined content and processes in a group-based component of an ongoing clinical trial with family caregivers of persons with dementia. The purpose was to identify issues arising from the group processes that could be used to inform future skill-building caregiver groups. Summaries from two types of intervention groups, a caregiver skill-building (CSB) treatment intervention and an information and support only (ISO) control intervention were examined, along with data collected during a group leader debriefing session. Three major categories of process information were identified: (a) group member behaviors that support group processes necessary for skill development, (b) group leader behaviors that support group processes necessary for skill development, and (c) the phases of learning in caregiver (CG) skill development. Subcategories and specific content in each of these areas are identified in this article, and a list of member and leader behaviors that might support future skill development in groups is presented. © 2004 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Res Nurs Health 27:110–120, 2004