Research Article  |   September 2011
Effect of Educational and Supportive Strategies on the Ability of Caregivers of People With Dementia to Maintain Participation in That Role
Author Affiliations
  • Andrea Thinnes, OTD, OTR/L, is Assistant Professor, Department of Occupational Therapy, School of Pharmacy and Health Professions, Creighton University, Omaha, NE
  • René Padilla, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA, is Associate Dean for Academic and Student Affairs, Office of Academic and Student Affairs, Criss III Building, Suite 154, School of Pharmacy and Health Professions, Creighton University, 2500 California Plaza, Omaha, NE 68178; rpadilla@creighton.edu
Article Information
Alzheimer's Disease and Dementia / Evidence-Based Practice / Health and Wellness / Mental Health / Neurologic Conditions / Special Issue—Effectiveness of Occupational Therapy Services for People With Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementias
Research Article   |   September 2011
Effect of Educational and Supportive Strategies on the Ability of Caregivers of People With Dementia to Maintain Participation in That Role
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, September/October 2011, Vol. 65, 541-549. doi:10.5014/ajot.2011.002634
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, September/October 2011, Vol. 65, 541-549. doi:10.5014/ajot.2011.002634
Abstract

A systematic review of evidence of the effectiveness of educational and supportive strategies for enabling caregivers of people with Alzheimer’s disease (AD) or related dementias to maintain participation in that role was conducted as part of the American Occupational Therapy Association’s Evidence-Based Literature Review Project. Forty-three articles met inclusion criteria. Results suggest that interventions that jointly engage people with AD and their caregivers in education and training in the home setting are more successful than strategies that focus solely on people with AD. Greater carryover is noted when education and training are implemented at the time that the caregiver identifies concerns. Interventions should provide caregivers with problem solving, technical skills, support, simple home modification strategies, and referral to community resources. Interventions mediated by technology have a positive effect on the caregiver and are especially important for those who live in rural areas.