Interventions for caregivers of persons with dementia: a systematic review

Can J Nurs Res. 2003 Dec;35(4):88-107.


The prevalence of dementia in older adults in increasing. Due to cuts in funding for formal support, many families are having to provide care for a loved one with dementia at home. This systematic review gathered and synthesized information on interventions designed to enhance the well-being of caregivers of people with dementia. A search of the literature resulted in 36 relevant studies. Of these, 11 were rated as strong, 11 as moderate, 13 as weak, and 1 as poor. This paper focuses on the strong studies. No one intervention had an overall significant impact on the well-being of caregivers. Although several interventions have been shown to be of benefit to caregivers, non-significant findings were more common. Further investigation is greatly needed. Systematic reviews are an important means of guiding consumers and practitioners in making evidence-based decisions.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological
  • Aged
  • Canada / epidemiology
  • Caregivers / education
  • Caregivers / psychology*
  • Case Management / standards
  • Community Health Services / standards
  • Cost of Illness
  • Dementia / epidemiology
  • Dementia / nursing*
  • Evidence-Based Medicine
  • Family / psychology*
  • Home Care Services / standards
  • Humans
  • Mental Health
  • Needs Assessment
  • Prevalence
  • Psychotherapy / standards
  • Quality of Life
  • Research Design
  • Self-Help Groups / standards
  • Social Support
  • Stress, Psychological / economics
  • Stress, Psychological / prevention & control*
  • Stress, Psychological / psychology
  • Telemedicine / standards
  • Treatment Outcome