Effects of the Minnesota Adaptation of the NYU Caregiver Intervention on Primary Subjective Stress of Adult Child Caregivers of Persons With Dementia

Gerontologist. 2016 Jun;56(3):461-74. doi: 10.1093/geront/gnu125. Epub 2015 Jan 27.


Purpose of the study: This study determined whether the NYU Caregiver Intervention for Adult Children (the NYUCI-AC) significantly reduced primary subjective stress for adult child caregivers of persons with dementia.

Design and methods: The NYUCI-AC was evaluated within a single-blinded randomized controlled trial. The sample included 107 adult child caregivers of persons with dementia (n = 54 assigned to the multicomponent treatment group; n = 53 assigned to a contact control group). Participants completed comprehensive assessments at baseline and at 4-month intervals during the first year and every 6 months thereafter. The focus of the current analysis was on the effects of the NYUCI-AC on change in primary subjective stress over 8, 12, and 18 months.

Results: Individual growth curve models found that caregivers in the NYUCI-AC treatment condition indicated statistically significant (p < .05) linear declines in overall negative reactions to behavior problems over a 1-year period when compared with controls. Adult child caregivers in the NYUCI-AC also indicated greater decreases in negative reactions to disruptive behavior problems when compared with controls over 8, 12, and 18 months.

Implications: The NYUCI-AC offered adult child caregivers counseling and support that improved their ability to manage their reactions to disruptive behaviors. This occurred despite the fact that other primary subjective stressors, such as role captivity and role overload, were not reduced.

Keywords: Alzheimer’s disease; Caregiving; Psychosocial intervention; Randomized controlled trial; Stress.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adult Children / psychology*
  • Aged
  • Caregivers / psychology*
  • Counseling
  • Dementia / psychology
  • Dementia / therapy*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Minnesota
  • Prospective Studies
  • Quality of Life / psychology*
  • Single-Blind Method
  • Social Support
  • Stress, Psychological / etiology
  • Stress, Psychological / psychology*