A randomized pilot trial of a telephone-based collaborative care management program for caregivers of individuals with dementia

Psychol Serv. 2017 Feb;14(1):102-111. doi: 10.1037/ser0000118.


Dementia care is largely provided in primary care settings. This article describes a pilot project aimed at evaluating the effectiveness of an accessible, telephone-based, patient- and caregiver (CG)-centered, collaborative care management program that involves CG education and psychosocial support in improving CG and patient outcomes. CGs (n = 75) of older veterans with dementia receiving care from Veterans Affairs (VA) Medical Center primary care practices were randomized to receive either dementia care management or usual care (UC). Of interest in this study were the frequency and severity of patients' dementia-related symptom, CG distress related to patients' behavioral and neuropsychiatric symptoms (primary outcomes), and CG coping and mastery (secondary outcomes). Adjusted, intention-to-treat longitudinal models suggest that CGs receiving care management reported significantly greater reductions in distress due to patients' dementia-related (p = .05) and neuropsychiatric (p = .01) symptoms compared with CGs in UC. Additionally, CGs in the intervention reported significantly larger improvements in their ability to cope (p = .03) and caregiving mastery (p = .03). No significant group differences were found in CG burden or patients' dementia-related symptom frequency or severity over time. Findings suggest that CGs of veterans with dementia may benefit from a telephone-delivered, care management program in improving CG-related outcomes. Further research of care management programs for CG of veterans with dementia in addressing barriers to care and reducing CG burden is warranted. These findings highlight the potential for such programs as adjuncts to dementia care offered in primary care practices. (PsycINFO Database Record

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Caregivers / education
  • Caregivers / psychology*
  • Case Management*
  • Cost of Illness*
  • Dementia / nursing*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care*
  • Pilot Projects
  • Primary Health Care / methods*
  • Social Support*
  • Telephone*
  • United States
  • United States Department of Veterans Affairs
  • Veterans