Distressed caregivers of people with dementia who received a telephone-delivered intervention had significant improvements in depressive symptoms and reactions to care-recipient behavior problems.

Summary: Family caregivers of individuals with dementia often experience severe stress and are at risk for poor health outcomes including depression and anxiety, but many caregivers encounter barriers that make in-person participation in interventions difficult. These barriers can include time constraints, long distances to intervention sites, and a lack of transportation. A recent randomized controlled trial found that caregivers of people with dementia who were distressed and received a telephone-delivered intervention had significant improvements in depressive symptoms and reactions to care-recipient behavior problems as compared to control participants. These findings demonstrate that an intervention delivered exclusively by telephone may result in positive outcomes for distressed caregivers of people with dementia, and may be useful for caregivers who face barriers to in-person participation.

Citation:  Tremont G, Davis JD, Papandonatos GD, Ott BR, Fortinsky RH, Gozalo P, Yue MS, Bryant K, Grover C, Bishop DS. Psychosocial telephone intervention for dementia caregivers: A randomized, controlled trial. Alzheimers Dement. 2014 Jul 26. pii: S1552-5260(14)02460-1. PMID: 25074341