Interventions to Improve Grandparent Caregivers' Mental and Physical Health: An Integrative Review

West J Nurs Res. 2018 Aug;40(8):1236-1264. doi: 10.1177/0193945917705376. Epub 2017 Apr 24.


The aim of this integrative review is to appraise grandparent caregiver interventions that are designed to improve their physical and mental health. A database search was performed to identify relevant studies published between January 1, 1980, and December 31, 2014. Thirteen publications, including 11 studies, met all inclusion and exclusion criteria. All studies included grandparent mental health outcomes with fewer focusing on physical health and social relations. Improvements were found in all three areas with fewer improvements seen in physical health. However, small effect sizes were seen with most measures of these outcomes. Although the interventions led to positive grandparent caregiver outcomes, the studies were limited by their design, only one of which was a randomized controlled trial. Also, interventions did not consider variations in the grandchild's or parent's ages or if the grandparent provided primary or shared care. These gaps should be addressed in future research.

Keywords: grandparent caregivers; intervention; mental health; physical health; review.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Caregivers / psychology*
  • Grandparents / psychology*
  • Health Status*
  • Humans
  • Mental Health*
  • Quality of Life / psychology