A home-based training program improves Taiwanese family caregivers’ quality of life and decreases their risk for depression: a randomized controlled trial.

Kuo LM, Huang HL, Huang HL, Liang J, Chiu YC, Chen ST, Kwok YT, Hsu WC, Shyu YI.
Int J Geriatr Psychiatry. 2013 May;28(5):504-13. doi: 10.1002/gps.3853. Epub 2012 Jul 9.

SOURCE:   School of Nursing, Hsin Sheng College of Medical Care and Management, Taoyuan, Taiwan.

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.