Life enhancing activities for family caregivers of people with frontotemporal dementia

Alzheimer Dis Assoc Disord. Apr-Jun 2014;28(2):175-81. doi: 10.1097/WAD.0b013e3182a6b905.


Aberrant psychological and behavioral symptoms are common in patients with dementia. These symptoms have negative consequences for family caregivers, causing stress and burden. Frontotemporal dementia (FTD) symptoms cause more pronounced stress and burden on caregivers than those associated with Alzheimer dementia. In this randomized, attention control pilot study, we delivered 5-weekly, one-on-one, positive affect intervention sessions to family caregivers of people with FTD. The program, Life Enhancing Activities for Family Caregivers: LEAF was conducted in-person or by videoconference with caregivers across the United States. Measures of affect, caregiver mood, stress, distress, and caregiver burden were assessed at baseline, end of sessions, and 1 month after completion. Twenty-four caregivers (12 intervention and 12 attention control) participated. At the end of the intervention, scores on positive affect, negative affect, burden, and stress all improved in the intervention compared with the control group. These scores continued to show improvement at the assessment done 1 month after intervention. Subjects were receptive to the skills and the delivery methods. The positive emotion skill-building intervention proved feasible especially in the internet videoconference delivery format. The intervention promoted positive affect and improved psychological outcomes for family caregivers of people with FTD.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological*
  • Affect
  • Aged
  • Attention
  • Caregivers / psychology*
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy / methods
  • Depression / therapy*
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Female
  • Frontotemporal Dementia / nursing*
  • Humans
  • Internet
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mindfulness / methods*
  • Pilot Projects
  • Quality of Life
  • Stress, Psychological / therapy*
  • Videoconferencing