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Benefit-finding and effect on caregiver depression: A double-blind randomized controlled trial

Contact Information

Keywords

dementia caregiving, depression, cognitive reappraisal, positive aspects of caregiving, randomized controlled trial

Abstract

Objective: To examine the effects of using cognitive reappraisal to find positive gains on caregivers' depressive symptoms, burden, and psychological well-being. Method: Ninety-six caregivers of persons with Alzheimer's disease were randomly assigned to receive a benefit-finding intervention or 1 of 2 treatment-as-usual conditions, namely, simplified psychoeducation (lectures only; SIM-PE) or standard psychoeducation (STD-PE). Each participant received 4 biweekly interventions of 3 hr each, over a 2-month period, at home. Results: Results showed that benefit-finding participants reported lower depressive symptoms after treatment, when compared with either SIM-PE (d = -0.46) or STD-PE (d = -0.50) participants. They also reported less role overload when compared with STD-PE participants (d = -0.46). Self-efficacy in controlling upsetting thoughts was a mediator for some of the treatment effects. Conclusion: Finding positive gains is an effective intervention to reduce depressive symptoms among Alzheimer caregivers.

Citation

Cheng, S. T., Mak, E. P. M., Fung, H. H., Kwok, T., Lee, D. T. F., & Lam, L. C. W. (2017). Benefit-finding and effect on caregiver depression: A double-blind randomized controlled trial. Journal of consulting and clinical psychology, 85(5), 521–529. https://doi.org/10.1037/ccp0000176

DOI

10.1037/ccp0000176

Model

Human

Conent Area

Sheung-Tak Cheng

EWB-Related Construct

(1) goal pursuit; (2) life satisfaction; (3) positive affect; (5) sense of meaning

Study Design

Species or Study Population

(5) RCT

Sex (%Female)

86%

Age (Mean, SD)

56.16, 10.56

Younger Controls?

No

Longitudinal Data?

Yes

Sample Size

96

Interventions

benefit-finding intervention

Ethnicity (%white)

0% (Hong Kong)

Inclusion Criteria

(a) being a primary caregiver aged 18 years or over
(b) providing ≥14 hr of care per week to a relative with Alzheimer’s disease in the mild-to-moderate stage (per Clinical Dementia Rating; Morris, 1993)
(c) a Mini-Mental State Examination (Cantonese version) score not, suggesting that cognitive impairment
(d) at least mild depressive symptoms operationalized as a score of ≥3 on the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale

Exclusion Criteria

Exclude the Care-recipient having parkinsonism or other forms of dementia (e.g., mixed dementia).

EWB Measures

(1) Psychological Well-being Scale Ryff’s (1989): Goal Pursuit, Life Satisfaction, Positive Affect, Sense of Meaning

Non-EWB Behavioral
Measures

(1) Depressive symptoms: Hamilton Depression Rating Scale
(2) Global Burden: Zairt Burden Interview
(3) role overload: Pearlin, Mullan, Semple, and Skaff’s (1990)
(4) behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia: Neuropsychiatry Inventory (Cummings, 1997)
(5) Functional impairment: OARS Multidimensional Functional Assessment Questionnaire (Fillenbaum & Smyer, 1981)

Physiological Measures

N/A

Brain IMaging Modality

Brain IMaging Paradigm

N/A

Brain Region/Circuit

N/A

Biological Measures

N/A

Other Neural Measures

Data Availability?

Yes

Data Avalability Details

Data for the study can be obtained from the corresponding author.

Diagnostic Measures

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