Objectives: This study tested the effectiveness of a dementia care management program for Chinese families of relatives with dementia on caregivers' and patients' health outcomes over a 12-month follow-up period.
Methods: The dementia care management program is an educational and supportive group for caregivers that lasts six months. A controlled trial was conducted with 88 primary caregivers of persons with dementia in two dementia care centers in Hong Kong. Family members were assigned randomly to either the dementia care program or standard care. The two groups were compared for patients' symptoms and institutionalization rates and caregivers' quality of life, burden, and social support upon recruitment and six and 12 months after group assignment.
Results: Over the 12-month follow-up period, patients with family members in the dementia care program showed significantly greater improvements in symptoms and institutionalization rates and their caregivers reported significantly greater improvements in quality of life and burden compared with the control group.
Conclusions: The findings provide evidence that the dementia care management program can improve the psychosocial functioning of Chinese persons with dementia and their caregivers.