Evaluation of a Telephone-Delivered, Community-Based Collaborative Care Management Program for Caregivers of Older Adults with Dementia

Am J Geriatr Psychiatry. 2017 Sep;25(9):1019-1028. doi: 10.1016/j.jagp.2017.03.015. Epub 2017 Mar 27.


Objectives: To evaluate whether a community-based, telephone-delivered, brief patient/caregiver-centered collaborative dementia care management intervention is associated with improved caregiver and care recipient (CR) outcomes.

Design: Longitudinal program evaluation of a clinical intervention; assessments at baseline and 3- and 6-month follow-up.

Setting: General community.

Participants: Caregivers (N = 440) of older, community-dwelling, low-income CRs prescribed a psychotropic medication by a primary care provider who met criteria for dementia and were enrolled in the SUpporting Seniors Receiving Treatment And INtervention (SUSTAIN) program for older adults.

Intervention: Dementia care management versus clinical evaluation only.

Measurements: Perceived caregiving burden and caregiver general health (primary outcomes); CR neuropsychiatric symptoms and caregiver distress in response to CRs' challenging dementia-related behaviors (secondary outcomes).

Results: Caregivers were, on average, 64.0 (SD: 11.8) years old and 62.6% provided care for the CR for 20 or more hours per week. The majority of the sample was female (73.2%), non-Hispanic White (90.2%), and spousal caregivers (72.5%). Adjusted longitudinal models of baseline and 3- and 6-month data suggest that compared with caregivers receiving clinical evaluation only, caregivers receiving care management reported greater reductions in burden over time. Subgroup analyses also showed statistically significant reductions in caregiver-reported frequency of CR dementia-related behaviors and caregiver distress in response to those symptoms at 3-month follow-up.

Conclusions: A community-based, telephone-delivered care management program for caregivers of individuals with dementia is associated with favorable caregiver and CR-related outcomes. Findings support replication and further research in the impact of tailored, collaborative dementia care management programs that address barriers to access and engagement.

Keywords: Dementia; caregivers; disease management; patient-centered care; psychosocial support systems.

MeSH terms

  • Aftercare
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Caregivers / education
  • Caregivers / psychology*
  • Community Health Services / methods*
  • Cost of Illness*
  • Dementia / nursing*
  • Disease Management*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Program Evaluation*
  • Spouses / psychology*
  • Telephone