A Pilot Evaluation of Psychosocial Support for Family Caregivers of Relatives with Dementia in Long-Term Care: The Residential Care Transition Module

Res Gerontol Nurs. Jul-Aug 2015;8(4):161-72. doi: 10.3928/19404921-20150304-01. Epub 2015 Mar 10.


This multiple method pilot evaluation aimed to generate preliminary data on the effectiveness of the Residential Care Transition Module (RCTM). The RCTM is a six-session, 4-month psychosocial intervention designed to help families manage their emotional and psychological distress following residential care placement of a cognitively impaired relative. Seventeen family caregivers of relatives in a nursing home or assisted living memory care unit were randomly assigned to the RCTM treatment condition and 19 family caregivers were assigned to a usual care control group. Caregivers in the treatment condition reported significantly (p < 0.05) less emotional distress at 4 and 8 months on self-reported surveys than those in the control group. Post-RCTM focus groups emphasized the importance of readily available psychosocial support for families following the placement transition. The findings suggest that the provision of skilled psychosocial support can help families manage emotional distress and crises in the months following a cognitively impaired relative's admission to residential long-term care.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Alzheimer Disease / nursing*
  • Caregivers / education*
  • Caregivers / psychology*
  • Dementia / nursing*
  • Family / psychology*
  • Female
  • Homes for the Aged
  • Humans
  • Long-Term Care / psychology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nursing Homes
  • Pilot Projects
  • Social Support*
  • Stress, Psychological / prevention & control*