Family carers' experiences of attending a multicomponent psychosocial intervention program for carers and persons with dementia

J Multidiscip Healthc. 2015 Feb 12;8:91-9. doi: 10.2147/JMDH.S76093. eCollection 2015.

Abstract

Background: Psychosocial interventions for persons with dementia and their primary family carers are promising approaches to reducing the challenges associated with care, but, obtaining significant outcomes may be difficult. Even though carers in general are satisfied with such interventions, few studies have evaluated the interventions by means of qualitative methods.

Aim: The objective of the study reported here was to investigate family carers' experiences of a multicomponent psychosocial intervention program, and also to offer advice on how to develop the intervention program.

Methods: Content analyses were taken from individual qualitative interviews conducted in 2012 with 20 carers (aged 50-82 years) who participated in a psychosocial intervention program that included education, individual and family counseling, and parallel group sessions for carers and persons with dementia.

Results: Two main categories emerged: 1) benefits of the intervention program, which sets out the informants' experiences for the benefits of participation, described in the subcategories "importance of content and group organization" and "importance of social support"; and 2) missing content in the intervention program, which details the informants' suggestions for future interventions, contained in the subcategories "need for extended content" and "need for new group organization".

Conclusion: The carers found the interventions useful. The importance of even earlier and more flexible interventions for the family carers, the extended family, and the persons with dementia was underscored.

Keywords: carers; dementia; evaluation; intervention; qualitative method; subjective experiences.