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The Tele.TAnDem Intervention: Telephone-based CBT for Family Caregivers of People With Dementia

Contact Information


Cognitive-behavioral therapy, Family caregiving, Telephone intervention, Psychotherapy


Background and objectives: This study evaluated the effectiveness of a telephone-based cognitive-behavioral therapy for family caregivers of people with dementia in existing health care provision structures. Research design and methods: Two hundred seventy-three family caregivers of people with dementia were randomly assigned to receive the intervention or usual care. Usual care included unrestricted access to community resources. Intervention group participants received twelve 50-min sessions of individual cognitive-behavioral therapy by trained psychotherapists within 6 months. Symptoms of depression, emotional well-being, physical health symptoms, burden of care, coping with the care situation and challenging behavior were assessed after the intervention ended and at a 6-month follow-up. Intention-to-treat analyses using latent change models were applied. Results: Intention-to-treat analyses showed improved emotional well-being (γ = 9.59, p = .001), fewer symptoms of depression (γ = -0.23, p = .043), fewer physical health symptoms (γ = -0.25, p = .019), improved coping with the care situation (γ = 0.25, p = .005) and the behavior of the care recipient (γ = 0.23, p = .034) compared with usual care. Effects for coping (γ = 0.28, p = .006 and γ = 0.39, p < .001, respectively) and emotional well-being (γ = 7.61, p = .007) were also found at follow-up. Discussion and implications: The CBT-based telephone intervention increased mental and physical health as well as coping abilities of family caregivers of people with dementia. The intervention can be delivered by qualified CBT therapists after an 8-h training session in existing health care provision structures.


Wilz, G., Reder, M., Meichsner, F., & Soellner, R. (2018). The Tele.TAnDem Intervention: Telephone-based CBT for Family Caregivers of People With Dementia. The Gerontologist, 58(2), e118–e129.





Conent Area

Gabriele Wilz

EWB-Related Construct

(3) positive affect

Study Design

Species or Study Population

(5) RCT

Sex (%Female)

care recipient: 51.3%

Age (Mean, SD)

64.19, 11.04
care recipient: 78.76, 9.35

Younger Controls?


Longitudinal Data?


Sample Size



a telephone-based cognitive-behavioral therapy

Ethnicity (%white)

not stated (Germany)

Inclusion Criteria

(1) family caregivers who were primarily responsible for the home-based care of a person with dementia (PwD).
(2) A medical practitioner must have confirmed the diagnosis of dementia and the PwD must have demonstrated at least mild cognitive impairment.

Exclusion Criteria

Exclusion criteria were ongoing psychotherapy, severe physical illness, or a diagnosed psychiatric disorder of the caregiver.

EWB Measures

(2) Emotional well-being: a visual analogue scale (Wilz & Soellner, 2016)doi:10.1080/07317115.2015.1101631

Non-EWB Behavioral

(1) physical health symptoms: Gießen Body Complaints List
(2) Coping with burden of care
(3) Depression symptoms: Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale

Physiological Measures


Brain IMaging Modality

Brain IMaging Paradigm


Brain Region/Circuit


Biological Measures


Other Neural Measures

Data Availability?


Data Avalability Details


Diagnostic Measures

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