Objective: To investigate the effectiveness of a home-based caregiver training program for caregivers of elders with dementia and behavioral problems.
Methods: A prospective study was conducted in the communities of Northern Taiwan. Forty-eight patients with dementia and their family caregivers were included. The experimental group (n = 24) received a two-session in-home caregiver training program, and the control group (n = 24) received only written educational materials. The Chinese version of Cohen-Mansfield Agitation Inventory (CMAI), community form, was used to measure the behavioral problems of patients with dementia. The caregiver's self-efficacy, for managing the demented person's agitation, was measured by the Agitation Management Self-efficacy Scale (AMSS). The CMAI and AMSS were administered before (baseline), three weeks (1st post-test), and three months (2nd post-test) after the two-session training program.
Results: Except for the physically aggressive behavior subscale, the scores of physically non-aggressive behavior, verbally aggressive and non-aggressive behavior subscales as well as the overall CMAI decreased significantly and continuously in the experimental group and differed significantly from the changed scores from those in the control group (p < 0.05). Physically aggressive behaviors showed a decreasing trend for both groups. Scores of the Agitation Management Self-Efficacy Scale and its subscales increased significantly and continuously in the experimental group in comparison to those in the control group (p < 0.05).
Conclusions: This home-based caregiver training program is helpful for decreasing problematic behaviors of elder people with dementia and it improves the caregiver's self-efficacy for managing problematic behaviors.
Copyright 2003 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.