The effectiveness of a mutual support group for family caregivers of a relative with dementia

Arch Psychiatr Nurs. 2002 Jun;16(3):134-44. doi: 10.1053/apnu.2002.32951.


This experimental study compared the effectiveness of providing a mutual support group program for family caregivers of a relative with dementia with that of conventional family service available to this group in Hong Kong. Fifty-two family caregivers from two centers participated in the study. A protocol, specifically designed to guide the mutual support group process and the facilitator and peer leader training, was based on evidence from other family support group intervention studies. Significant differences were found for distress levels and quality of life, with the mutual support group having greater improvements than the control group. The results of this study show the importance of psychosocial support beyond conventional services generally offered to family caregivers in dementia care.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Alzheimer Disease / nursing*
  • Alzheimer Disease / psychology
  • Caregivers / psychology*
  • Cross-Cultural Comparison
  • Family Therapy
  • Female
  • Home Nursing / psychology
  • Hong Kong
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Quality of Life / psychology
  • Self-Help Groups*