Continuum of care for Alzheimer's disease: A nurse education and counseling program

Academic Article

Abstract

  • This study evaluated a one year long nurse education and counseling program with 93 family caregivers of elders afflicted with Alzheimer's disease. The elders had received treatment for agitation in an inpatient setting and were subsequently discharged to the caregivers' home. Caregivers were randomly assigned to an experimental group (n = 68) and a control group (n = 25). Baseline assessments (Time 0) were conducted while the elder was an inpatient. Postdischarge interventions and assessments were conducted at 2 weeks, 6 weeks, 12 weeks, and 6 and 12 months (Times 1-5 respectively).There were no significant treatment effects for care recipient agitation, caregiver stress, depression, and physical health, and no significant differences between groups in rates of institutionalization for afflicted elders. Longitudinal data, however, revealed several important trends. Afflicted elders' agitation rose steadily for control group subjects at Times 3 through 5 but declined for experimental group subjects. Caregiver depression increased for control group subjects at Time 5, but declined for experimental group subjects. Caregiver physical health declined for control group subjects at Times 4 and 5 but was maintained for experimental group subjects. A significantly higher number of afflicted elders were still at home among experimental group subjects at the end of the one year study. The difficulties in demonstrating efficacy of interventions with family caregivers of Alzheimer's disease are discussed. Finally, the issue of data collection being perceived as support by control group subjects is evaluated.
  • Authors

    Published In

    Author List

  • Wright LK; Litaker M; Laraia MT; DeAndrade S
  • Start Page

  • 231
  • End Page

  • 252
  • Volume

  • 22
  • Issue

  • 3