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Title: Psychological interventions for Dementia caregivers : what we have achieved, what we have learned
Authors: Cheng, ST
Au, A 
Losada, A
Thompson, LW
Gallagher-Thompson, D
Issue Date: 2019
Source: Current psychiatry reports, 2019, v. 21, no. 7, 59
Abstract: With the rising dementia population, more and more programs have been developed to help caregivers deal with the care-recipient as well as their own frustrations. Many interventions aim to enhance caregiver’s ability to manage behavior problems and other deteriorations in functioning, with less direct emphasis placed on caring for the caregivers. We argue that techniques based on psychotherapy are strategically important in assistance provided to caregivers because of their utility for promoting emotional health. This article provides a focused review of such methods used in evidence-based intervention programs, along with the mechanisms of change associated with these methods. While cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) has a strong evidence base, there is also a growing trend to package CBT techniques into various psychoeducational programs. These programs, which we call psychoeducation with psychotherapeutic programs, have been consistently found to be effective in reducing caregiver distress and are suited for delivery in group format, even by paraprofessionals, to lower the cost of intervention. A recent trend is the effective use of technological aids (e.g., the internet) to deliver CBT and psychoeducation, reaching more caregivers. As for therapeutic mechanisms, the use of coping skills, reduced dysfunctional thoughts, and increased self-efficacy in controlling upsetting thoughts has received support in studies. We conclude that psychotherapeutic techniques are increasingly being used effectively and efficiently to assist caregivers, aided by successful adaptation for educational or technologically advanced means of delivery. More research on therapeutic mechanisms is needed to understand how the techniques work and how they can be further refined.
Keywords: Alzheimer’s disease
Caregiver interventions
Cross-cultural issues
Dementia
Publisher: Springer Healthcare
Journal: Current psychiatry reports 
ISSN: 1523-3812
EISSN: 1535-1645
DOI: 10.1007/s11920-019-1045-9
Rights: © The Author(s) 2019 This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.
The following publication Cheng, ST., Au, A., Losada, A. et al. Curr Psychiatry Rep (2019) 21: 59 is available at https://doi.org/10.1007/s11920-019-1045-9
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