Coping with dementia: evaluation of four nonpharmacologic interventions

Int Psychogeriatr. 2000 Jun;12(2):249-65. doi: 10.1017/s1041610200006360.


To evaluate nonpharmacologic interventions, caregivers (65 women, 38 men) and their dementia-diagnosed spouses (patients) were randomized to one of four treatment programs (cognitive stimulation, dyadic counseling, dual supportive seminar, and early-stage day care) or to a wait-list control group. Assessments occurred initially and at postintervention (3 months). Patients were evaluated on memory, verbal fluency, and problem-solving ability, and caregivers were assessed on marital interaction, emotional status, and physical health, along with stress, coping, and social support. Caregivers also completed a program evaluation. Repeated measures procedures showed that patients in the cognitive stimulation group demonstrated more improvement over time in cognitive outcomes, and caregivers decreased in depressive symptoms. Early-stage day-care and dual supportive seminar group caregivers reported a decrease in hostility and a decrease in use of negative coping strategies, respectively. Although qualitatively derived benefits differed across groups, similarities in program content reduced the potential for quantitative differentiation among the groups.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Controlled Clinical Trial
  • Evaluation Study
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological*
  • Aged
  • Caregivers
  • Cognition Disorders / diagnosis
  • Dementia / diagnosis
  • Dementia / psychology
  • Dementia / therapy*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mental Health Services
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Problem Solving
  • Program Evaluation
  • Random Allocation
  • Treatment Outcome