Objectives: It has been convincingly demonstrated that in dementia, psychoeducative group intervention with caregivers positively impacts on motivation for care and satisfaction of the caregivers. It has, however, been neglected to examine the effect of psychoeducative group intervention on the behavioural and psychological symptoms of the demented patients.
Methods: In a 3-month, expert-based and conceptualized group intervention with caregiving relatives of demented patients we investigated whether behavioural and psychological symptoms may improve and which of a set of independent variables may predict improvement.
Results: The 3-month group intervention yielded a significant improvement in agitation and anxiety of the demented patients. The presence of an additional somatic disease in the patients and male gender predicted a less positive outcome of the intervention related to the presence of agitation.
Conclusions: This study demonstrated that psychoeducative group intervention with the caregivers of demented patients is helpful for the demented patients themselves. This evidence of a positive mediator effect of the group intervention on the behavioural and psychological symptoms of the patients underscores the importance of nonpharmacological strategies in the treatment of dementia.
Copyright 2000 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.